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Agesilau Antonio Bitancourt

Agesilau Antonio Bitancourt, Brazilian plant pathologist and mycologist (Manaus 06 June 1899 – São Paulo 17 June 1987)
Authored nearly 300 works

Proposed an equation for anthill growth 

Expressão matemática do crescimento de formigueiros de Atta sexdens rubropilosa representada pelo aumento do número de olheiros. Arq. Inst. Biol. 12:229-36, 1941 

Authored a formula

Theoretical distribution of lesions on leaves or fruits caused by insects and other animals or by infectious agents transmitted by vectors. Arq. Inst. Biol. 24(17):243-52, 1943

Described Citrus false exantema

With J.P. da Fonseca & M. Autuori. Manual de Citricultura (2nd part) 1933  


Described zonate chlorosis in citrus

With H.S.V. Grillo. A chlorose zonada. Uma nova doença dos citrus. Arqu. Inst. Biol., 1934
With H.S. Fawcett suggested that citrus tristeza was a virus disease (1936) 
Developed Bitancourt method for treatment of citrus tristeza 

Developed starch test, the first index for citrus tristeza, an iodine test for starch accumulation above bud union and starch depletion below the bud union

Um teste para a identificação precoce da tristeza dos citrus. O Biológico 10(6):169-175, 1944.


Discovered coffee ringspot disease

A mancha anular, uma nova doença do cafeeiro. O Biológico 4:404-5, 1938.


Identified citrus leprosis as a virus disease (1940s)  and suggested its transmission by mites (Brevipalpus phoenicis)

Described a new root disease of citrus

A doença do citrus no vale do Paraiba. O Biológico 6:268-9, 1940

First to isolate Phytophthora cinnamoni from citrus in the world

With H.S. Fawcett. Occurrence, pathogenicity, and temperature relations of Phytophthora species on Citrus in Brazil and other South American countries. Arch. Inst. Biol. 11:107-18, 1946  


Described or co-described 112 new Fungi species



Elsinoe arrudai with Jenkins 

Elsinoe australis 1936 with Jenkins (Sweet Orange scab)

Elsinoe bertholetiae 1945

Elsinoe blechni 1955 with Jenkins

Elsinoe bochneri with Jenkins 

Elsinoe brasiliensis 1940 with Jenkins (Superelongation disease of cassava)

Elsinoe caleae with Jenkins 

Elsinoe caroli with Jenkins 

Elsinoe chilensis 1945

Elsinoe costai with Jenkins 

Elsinoe cryptostegiae 1941 with Jenkins

Elsinoe deslandesii 

Elsinoe fawcetti 1936 with Jenkins (Sour Orange Scab)

Elsinoe heveae 1942 with Jenkins (Spotted Anthracnose of Hevea)

Elsinoe krameriii with Jenkins 

Elsinoe lepagei 1941 with Jenkins

Elsinoe leucospila with Jenkins

Elsinoe mangiferae 1946 with Jenkins (Mango Scab)

Elsinoe pitangae (anthracnose of Eugenia pitanga)

Elsinoe ractii with Jenkins 

Elsinoe rochalimai with Jenkins 

Elsinoe theae 1939 (Foliar scab of tea)

Elsinoe uruguayensis 1945

Elsinoe venezuelensis 1945

Elsinoe verbenae with Jenkins 

Sphaceloma psidii 1949 with Jenkins (Guava Spotted Anthracnose)

Sphaceloma papayae 1955 with Jenkins (Papaw scab)

Sphaceloma arachidis 1940 with Jenkins (Peanut Scab)

Sphaceloma spondialis 1942 with Jenkins (Ciriguela Scab)

Stomiopeltis citrii 1934 (Sooty blotch of citrus)

Setophoma sacchari 1938 ( a leaf spot of sugar cane)

Sphaceloma bidentis 1950 (spot anthracnose)

Sphaceloma erythrinae 1950 (spot anthracnose of Erythrina crista-galli)

Sphaceloma hoveniae 1950 with Jenkins (spot anthracnose of Hovenia dulcis)

Sphaceloma terminaliae 


Proposed storing specimens in herbaria with their distinctive patterns first keeping them in Drummond’s solution and then drying them



Showed that indole acetic acid (IAA) must be oxidized and converted to a dimer named deuterauxin in order to be active

Deuterauxin, an active oxidation product of indolyl-3-acetic acid and its possible role in the mechanism of plant cell wall elongation. Nature (London) 200:548-52, 1963



Performed important studies about IAA, its metabolism and biosynthesis, physiological implications and involvement to plant cancer (1954-78)


With E.J. Hambleton discovered an efficient process in order to control of pink bollworm

Invented a special process to improve flavor of the coffee beverage

Papers in renowned reviews

With K. Schwarz. Paper chromatography of unstable substances. Science 126:607-8, 1955

Other Studies

Efeitos da faísca electrica sobre cafeeiros. O Biológico 17(3):41-9, 1959



Vice-president, First International Congress of Plant Pathology, London (1968)

Honorary Vice-president, International Congress of Botany, Edinburgh (1964) and Seattle (1969)

Member, International Committee on Virus Nomenclature

Invited to write the preface of 1978 Annual Review of Phytopathology, a honor reserved to leading authorities in the area

A sportsman he was Brazilian national diving champion