Managing the interactions between soil abiotic factors to alleviate the effect of Fusarium wilt in bananas

R.A. Segura, J.J. Stoorvogel, J.Z. Samuels, J.A. Sandoval
Soil management offers various options to alleviate the effects of Fusarium wilt caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) in bananas. Nevertheless, it receives little attention as a strategy in Fusarium wilt management. Literature provides ample evidence linking soil conditions such as soil texture and fertility to the spread and severity of plant diseases. However, the inconsistency of results between case studies limits the attention of soil management in crop disease management. The present study aimed at unravelling the role of soil abiotic factors on nutrient concentrations in plant tissue, biomass production and the incidence of Fusarium wilt (Foc race 1) in bananas ('Gros Michel', AAA) under field conditions. A large field trial was established in which the effects of soil pH and nutrients (N, Ca, Mg and Mn) were studied. Around 30% of the plants showed symptoms of Fusarium wilt at flowering in the first season. However, Fusarium wilt incidence did not vary between treatments. Soil pH showed significant interactions with soil N and Mn concentrations resulting in a lower bunch weight and increased micronutrient concentrations in the pseudostem. With a higher pH, bunch weight increased, although higher Mn concentrations suppressed this positive effect. Interactions between a high soil pH and Ca and Mg resulted in a higher bunch weight and lower micronutrient concentrations in the pseudostem. The results can be used to develop soil management strategies for improving banana productivity in infected plantations.
Segura, R.A., Stoorvogel, J.J., Samuels, J.Z. and Sandoval, J.A. (2018). Managing the interactions between soil abiotic factors to alleviate the effect of Fusarium wilt in bananas. Acta Hortic. 1196, 163-168
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2018.1196.19
biomass, micronutrients, Panama disease, plant disease, soil fertility

Acta Horticulturae