DISEASE AND PEST CONSTRAINTS TO BANANA PRODUCTION

D.R. Jones
Diseases and pests of edible banana probably first became problems when certain genotypes were grown as monocultures. Fusarium wilt and Sigatoka leaf spot were the first diseases to limit production of ‘Gros Michel’ (AAA genome), the first export banana cultivar grown in the Americas. Cultivars in the Cavendish subgroup (AAA genome), which produce the current export bananas, are very susceptible to black leaf streak. This disease has spread globally and replaced the less virulent Sigatoka leaf spot as the dominant leaf spot in most locations. Other fungal diseases important in some regions include the Cavendish-attacking strains of Fusarium wilt, eumusae leaf spot, freckle and Cladosporium speckle. The pathogen causing Moko bacterial wilt originated on native Heliconia in the Americas. Introduced banana became a new host. Blood bacterial wilt and Xanthomonas wilt are other bacterial diseases locally important in Indonesia and East Africa respectively. Bunchy top and bract mosaic are damaging virus diseases, which have a limited distribution at present. Virus diseases mosaic and streak are less damaging, but more widespread. Pre- and post-harvest diseases of fruit also cause losses. The burrowing nematode is the most important root parasite of banana in lowland tropical areas, and the most damaging banana insect pest is the rhizome-attacking banana weevil. The development of aseptic shoot-tip culture methods has enabled selected banana germplasm to be multiplied quickly and has reduced many of the risks associated with the international movement of germplasm. A major drawback to breeding for resistance has been the sterility of the popular Cavendish clones. However, genetic engineering and other biotechnology-based approaches to improvement are viable alternative methods. Chemical control has been employed successfully in the past to counter pests and pathogens, but resistance to fungicides and pesticides is becoming a major issue. Biological control methods are being employed more often in integrated pest management programmes.
Jones, D.R. (2009). DISEASE AND PEST CONSTRAINTS TO BANANA PRODUCTION. Acta Hortic. 828, 21-36
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.828.1
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2009.828.1
breeding, control, disease and pest resistance, insects, nematodes, pathogens
English

Acta Horticulturae