Cookies on Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Like most websites we use cookies. This is to ensure that we give you the best experience possible.


Continuing to use means you agree to our use of cookies. If you would like to, you can learn more about the cookies we use.

Plantwise Knowledge Bank

Your search results


Banana xanthomonas wilt

Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum
  • The bacterium can be spread by insects feeding on flowers of infected plants and then feeding on clean plants, and also via cutting tools contaminated with bacteria
  • Use healthy planting material: Select planting material from areas where the disease is absent. Obtain suckers from trusted sources. Do not use suckers from banana plants affected by BXW, even if the suckers appear healthy
  • Remove male buds by hand or with a forked stick. Male buds need to be cut off quickly after the fruit has been set. This is to reduce the risk of moving bacteria on cutting tools
  • Clean cutting tools. Use household bleach (1 bleach : 4 water), solutions containing local plants with antibiotic activity, such as tobacco or chilli, or by passing through a flame. Bleach is the most effective method for killing bacteria
  • Avoid the movement of animals in the banana plantation to prevent disease spread
  • Follow national regulations (local quarantine and restrictions, e.g. do not sell banana bunches from infected areas in BXW free areas)
  • If an area has been infected, crop rotation using any other crop besides banana for 5-10 years
  • Regularly check crop at least 6 months after planting. Observe 2-3 times per week
  • Thresholds: Remove infected plants as soon as they are noticed; When there is up to 70% of banana disease incidence, uproot the whole plantation and bury the plants
  • Fruit: Individual bananas start to go yellow while others in the bunch remain green
  • Fruit: When cut open, the bananas have dark stains, including those that are green. The bananas quickly blacken and eventually the whole bunch decays
  • Bracts: Purple leaves of the male flower bud and shrivel, go black and die
  • Young leaves: Leaves in the crown go yellow, fold in the centre and then collapse
  • To detect the disease, cut the fruit stalk and, once the milky juices stop oozing, look for small yellow dots (which may be difficult to see). These indicate that the bacteria are blocking the flow of water and nutrients
  • A fungus disease of banana, known as Fusarium wilt (Panama disease) also causes yellowing but on older leaves and fruits develop normally. The most distinctive symptom of Fusarium wilt is a dark staining inside the trunk, which is absent in bananas with bacterial wilt
  • Remove trunks (pseudostems) showing symptoms of BXW and dispose of these carefully. Bury deeply or burn outside of the area of banana cultivation
    • Single stem removal will reduce the amount of bacteria capable of infecting new plants, but this will not eliminate the disease
  • Once the plant is infected there is no treatment to control the disease

CREATED/UPDATED: November 2016
PRODUCED BY: Plantwise

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