Dr. J. M. Waller clarifies why the name Collectotrichum coffeanum has been changed to Colletotrichum kahawae:
The name Colletotrichum coffeanum was applied to a Colletotrichum species found on coffee in Brazil by Noack at the end of the 19 Century. The name was subsequently used broadly for any Colletotrichum species found on coffee, although it was recognised early on that the form causing coffee berry disease - a unique disease of immature Arabica coffee berries still confined to parts of Africa - was rather different. Work undertaken a few years ago at the International Mycological Institute (since incorporated into CABI Bioscience) showed that the Colletotrichum causing coffee berry disease was different biochemically and culturally from the common Colletotrichum species found world wide on coffee and therefore also different from that originally described by Noack from Brazil where coffee berry disease did not and still does not occur. This common form does not cause coffee berry disease although it can cause an anthracnose of ripe berries and is Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (anamorph of Glomerella cingulata). Thus the name 'Colletotrichum coffeanum' is no longer valid as it is presumed to be a synonym of C. gloeosporioides. We called the coffee berry disease pathogen Colletotrichum kahawae after the Swahili and Arabic name for coffee - 'kahawa' - relating to both the Arabic origins of the coffee crop and to the language of the country where the disease was first found. For more detail see the paper by Waller Bridge and Hakiza (1993) Mycological Research 97; 989-994.
Dr J.M. Waller
CABI Bioscience UK Centre