This is one of a series of articles about the 20 research projects for which CONNECTED provided pump-prime funding. A full set of articles about all 20 projects can be found here.

Formal identification and characterisation of the viral pathogen causing a new aphid-associated disease of cabbage in Ghana

A project seeking to conclusively identify the cause of a new disease which threatens Ghana’s cabbage crops

Cabbage has become an increasingly important and nutritious element of Ghanaian people’s diets. It is also a key income source for many of the country’s farmers.

Ghana’s cabbage crops are threatened by a novel disease (provisionally named ‘necrotic cabbage disease’) which has occurred consistently since 2010, and which is spreading throughout Ghana. The disease is associated with the presence of aphids on the cabbage crop. Initial indications are that the disease is caused by an Asian strain of cucumber mosaic virus. This project is working to formally test this hypothesis, since this is a vital step in surveillance, protection and breeding programmes.

The project will establish the incidence and severity of the new disease and associated aphid vectors across different Ghanaian regions. The work also has implications for countries bordering Ghana, which may also be threatened. Project outputs will further strengthen existing collaborations with plant breeders.


  • Ghana
  • UK

International research collaboration

  • University of Ghana, Soil and Irrigation Research Centre, Ghana
  • African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science, University of Ghana
  • University of Cambridge, UK


  • Ken Okwae Fening (PI)
  • John Carr
  • Ethelyn Echep Forchibe

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