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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Panama Disease of Banana

Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense
Bangladesh

Recognize the problem

Panama disease of banana is the most destructive disease in Bangladesh. The disease is also known as Fusarium wilt of banana and infects the roots of banana plants. The early symptoms show yellowing of lower leaves, including leaf blades and petioles. The older leaves turn yellow and collapse when plants are 4 months old. The leaves hang around the pseudostem and wither. In the pseudostem of the diseased plant, yellowish to reddish streaks are noted with intensification of colour towards the rhizome. Sometimes, the base of the pseudostem splits. Reddish to dark brown vascular discolouration occurs in outer leaf sheath, pseudostems, rhizome and fruit stalk.

Background

This is a soil-borne fungal disease which enters the plant through its roots. It is most serious in poorly drained soil with continuous cropping of banana. Warm soil temperatures, poor drainage, light soils and high soil moisture are favourable for the spread of the disease.

Management

The following integrated management practices could be used to minimize the disease.
  • Severely affected plants should be uprooted and burnt
  • Highly infected soil should not be replanted with banana for at least 3-4 years
  • Use disease-free planting material and resistant cultivars
  • Crop rotation with sugarcane, rice or sunflower helps to reduce the disease incidence
  • The application of bio-agents such as Trichoderma viride or Pseudomonas fluorescens in the soil is effective
  • Dipping of suckers in carbendazim (10g/10 litres of water) followed by bimonthly drenching starting from 6 months after planting is also recommended

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Bangladesh

Authors: Md. Rafiquzzaman, Zahidul Islam, M Anwar Hossain

©CAB International. Published under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 licence.

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