IMPROVED PLANT HEALTH THROUGH BIOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT OF BANANA PLANTING MATERIAL WITH MUTUALISTIC ENDOPHYTES
Bananas and plantains are under constant attack in the field by a wide spectrum of soil-borne pests and diseases. Providing clean material through the help of tissue culture techniques is a major step forward in attempts to reduce the impact of these pests and diseases. Nevertheless, tissue cultured plant material is readily reinfested in the field probably due to lack of sufficient defense mechanisms. This paper deals with possibilities of improving plant health with fungal endophytes. The research program is outlined and preliminary results of bioassays involving both banana nematodes and weevils are presented. Fifteen percent of the fungal isolates caused nematode mortality levels exceeding 90 %, while 6 % of the fungi induced mortality rates of 60 to 70 % on banana weevil eggs. Future research will focus on in vivo experiments with promising isolates and biocontrol impact studies.
Sikora, R.A., Schuster, R.F. and Griesbach, M. (2000). IMPROVED PLANT HEALTH THROUGH BIOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT OF BANANA PLANTING MATERIAL WITH MUTUALISTIC ENDOPHYTES. Acta Hortic. 540, 409-413
bananas, banana weevil, fungal endophytes, nematodes, tissue culture