Banana Diseases and Their Remedies
Mycosphaerella Leaf Spot
Early symptoms appear on the third or fourth leaf from the top. There are small spindle shaped spots on foliage with grayish and yellowish halo running parallel to veins. A small number of these enlarge, become oval; the colour also changes to dark brown. Still later, the center of the spot dies, turning light grey surrounded by a brown ring. In severe cases, numerous spots coalesce, killing large parts of the leaf.
For effective control of the disease make sure that the farm has improved drainage, control of weeds, removal of diseased suckers and adopting correct spacing. Also copper based fungicides spray is recommended.
Panama or Fusarium Wilt
It’s a fungal disease mostly common in poorly drained soils. Initial symptoms are yellowing of lower leaves, including leaf blades and petioles.
For effective control of panama disease plant cultivars that are resistant to the disease, make sure drainage of the soil is excellent and in case there is serious infestation in the farm uproot and burn the affected plants. Always ensure your suckers and tissues cultures come from certified nurseries.
Banana bract mosaic virus (BBMV)
Its symptoms are spindle shaped pinkish to reddish streaks on the pseudo stem and midrib. Typical mosaic streaks on bracts, peduncle and fingers observed.
It survives and spreads through aphid vectors. It’s controlled by uprooting and destruction of affected plants together with their rhizomes.
Banana streak disease
Its symptoms are yellow streaking of leaves which become necrotic producing a black streaked appearance in older leaves.
Its spread through infected planting materials and mealy bugs.
For effective control, destroy the affected plants, use clean planting materials and control the vectors namely mealy bugs.
Infectious Chlorosis (CMV)
It’s a viral disease.
Its symptoms are yellowish green patches and thickening of veins. Leaf sheaths also pull away from the pseudo stem easily. It manifests itself at all stages of crop growth. Due to repeated use of suckers from infected plants it leads to gradual decrease in yield and quality.
For effective control destroy all affected plants and always plant tissues and suckers which are disease free and from certified nurseries.
Bunchy top virus\ Curly top
Symptoms occur as prominent dark green streaks on the petiole and midrib along the leaf veins. Petioles fail to elongate. Leaves are reduced in size, chlorotic, stand upright and become brittle. Flowers display mottled and streaked discoloration.
For effective control of the disease, destroy all the affected plants and control the banana aphid vector.
Symptoms at the initial stages represent small circular black spots develop on the affected leaves. These spots enlarge in size turning to brown colour. The skin of the fruit turns black and shrivels and becomes covered with characteristic pink acervuli. It affects the whole finger and later the disease spreads and affects the whole bunch.
Its spread through conidia of the fungi and numerous insects which frequently visit banana flowers and also spread the disease.
Its effectively controlled by removal of decaying leaves and remaining floral parts and also avoid damage to the banana tissue during harvest, packaging and storage.
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