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Anthracnose on banana

Colletotrichum musae
  • Anthracnose is caused by the fungus Colletotrichum musae, commonly found in plant debris and fruit.
  • Use plactic coverings on emerging fruit to prevent infection.
  • Avoid damaging fruit tissue during harvest and storage.
  • Remove decaying plant parts such as leaves.
  • Actively remove weeds and other non-crop species from plots to reduce favourable humid conditions for fungal infection.
  • Sufficient irrigation and draining of plantations to reduce unnecessary conditions which favour fungi.
  • Place green fruit in hot water bath (55°C) for 2 minutes to reduce fungal infection post-harvest. Timings may vary between crop varieties, contact a local expert/advisory board for suitable timings.
  • Actively monitor crop during fruit development. Symptoms include:
    • Dark brown/black lesions on green fruit.
    • On yellow fruit these lesions increase in size, orange fungal growth can be found in centre of lesions.
    • Symptoms can also be found on the tips of fruit.
    • Premature ripening of fruit.
  • Monitoring of fungal infection should continue throughout post-harvest storage as fungal infection may develop following damage to fruit/spread of infection during harvest/storage/transport.
  • Actively remove non-crop species from banana plantations to reduce favourable fungal environments.
  • Use of biofungicides during harvest (10% Arabic gum and 1.0% chitosan) to control fungal spread in storage.
  • Use of natural plant extracts to reduce fungal growth (citiric, ginger rhizomes, Clerodendrum inerme extracts).
  • Biological control of anthracnose on banana crops is still under development, be advised to contact a local expert for further advice on reccomendations and application methods.

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