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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Sigatoka Disease of Banana

Mycosphaerella musicola

Recognize the problem

Sigatoka disease of banana is one of the devastating diseases affecting the banana crop. It is caused by Cercospora musae, which is the conidial stage of a fungus Mycospherella musicola. The disease is common in almost all districts of Bangladesh especially in banana growing districts.
Initial symptoms of Sigatoka appear in the form of light yellowish spots on the leaves. A small number of spots enlarge, become oval and the colour also changes to dark brown. Still later, the centre of the spot dies, turning light grey surrounded by a brown ring. In severe cases, numerous spots coalesce, killing large parts of the leaf. Rainfall, dew and temperature determine the spread of the disease.


Conditions favouring mass infection are most common during the rainy season with high temperatures (above 25°C) and high humidity. Closer spacing for getting higher yield, especially when grown as single crop favours disease development. Fields where drainage is poor are also more susceptible to the disease.


The following integrated management practices could be used to minimize the disease.
  • Clean cultivation
  • Improved drainage system
  • Use wider spacing
  • Removal of diseased suckers
  • Cultivation of resistant variety
  • Spray with propiconazole e.g. Tilt, or mancozeb e.g. Dithane M-45 WP (in oil-water emulsion/ water only) as per label, 2-3 times at 15-day intervals
  • Foliar spray of copper oxychloride (3g/litre of water) or thiophanate methyl 1 g/ litre of water) also control the disease effectively          
  • Soil treatment with triadimenol @ 0.75g a.i./plant every 4 months results in a complete control of Sigatoka disease

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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