Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fungal Disease Threatens Global Banana Production

Date:
March 2, 1999
Source:
American Phytopathological Society
Summary:
Black Sigatoka, a fungal disease with a voracious appetite for banana foliage, is spreading through banana production regions of the world. Most recently, the disease was reported in Florida. Since bananas are a staple food and a major export product in much of the developing world (they are the world's fourth most valuable food crop), black Sigatoka is imposing a heavy toll on the food security and export economies of the producing nations. Fortunately, plant pathologists are taking the lead with other scientists to breed bananas that are resistant to the disease.

ST. PAUL, MN (March 1, 1999) -- Black Sigatoka, a fungal disease with a voracious appetite for banana foliage, is spreading through banana production regions of the world. Most recently, the disease was reported in Florida. Since bananas are a staple food and a major export product in much of the developing world (they are the world's fourth most valuable food crop), black Sigatoka is imposing a heavy toll on the food security and export economies of the producing nations. Fortunately, plant pathologists are taking the lead with other scientists to breed bananas that are resistant to the disease.

"The black Sigatoka pathogen thrives under the warm, wet conditions that are found in the tropics," says Randy Ploetz, plant pathologist with the University of Florida and member of the American Phytopathological Society. "In such environments, black Sigatoka severely damages banana leaves and reduces a plant's ability to capture the sun's energy. As a consequence, fruit production can be reduced by 50% or more. Black Sigatoka also causes premature ripening, which is a serious defect in exported fruit."

Infected planting material and leaves, which are often used in the developing world as packing materials, are usually responsible for long-distance spread.

"In order to reduce the impact of this disease, it is essential that resistant bananas be developed," says Ploetz. "Chemical control is available but expensive and generally not available for poor farmers who depend on this crop. Moreover, the pathogen has a tendency to develop resistance or tolerance towards some types of fungicides."

Historically, genetic resistance in banana to black Sigatoka and other diseases has been poor. The situation is changing, however, as a result of new hybrids that are being developed by banana breeding programs in Guadeloupe, Honduras, Nigeria, Uganda and other countries. "Products of the breeding programs are bound to play increasingly important roles in subsistence agriculture," says Ploetz. "Whether new hybrids eventually replace cultivars that are used by the export trades, however, remains to be seen. In the end analysis, we believe that resistant bananas will be our best defense against diseases in subsistence and export situations alike."

###

For more information on black Sigatoka, visit the APS March web feature story with photographs and links to additional sites at http://www.scisoc.org. The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a professional scientific organization dedicated to the study and control of plant disease with 5,000 members worldwide.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Phytopathological Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Phytopathological Society. "Fungal Disease Threatens Global Banana Production." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 March 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990302062559.htm>.
American Phytopathological Society. (1999, March 2). Fungal Disease Threatens Global Banana Production. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990302062559.htm
American Phytopathological Society. "Fungal Disease Threatens Global Banana Production." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/03/990302062559.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

Pyrenees Orphan Bear Cub Gets Brand New Home

AFP (Aug. 1, 2014) The discovery of a bear cub in the Pyrenees mountains made headlines in April 2014. Despire several attempts to find the animal's mother, the cub remained alone. Now, the Pyrenees Conservation Foundation has constructed an enclosure. Duration: 00:31 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins