Agriculture and Technology Pests and Disease Management in Banana - Agriculture and Technology

Information Related to Soil, Irrigation, Ideal Growing Conditions for different crops, Pest and Disease Management

Pests and Disease Management in Banana

Rhizome rot
(Erwinia Carotovora
Erwinia Chrysanthem)
Rhizome will not germinate, Internal tissue brown/yellow and watery, Pseudo stem breaks from rhizome
Bacteria in soil enter through wounds, disease encouraged by wet and humid conditions
Select only high quality rhizome, disinfect all tools for propagation regularly, allow seed pieces to dry properly
Moko disease
(Ralstonia Solanacearum)
Older leaves wilted and collapsing, Spreads to entire canopy, collapse of pseudo stem
Spread root to root by insects or human activities such as machete pruning
Regular monitoring is required, male buds should be removed, infected plants need to be destroyed
Black Sigatoka
(Mycosphaerella fijiensis)
Red/brown flecks or spot on underside or topside of leaves, spots with dark or yellow border and grey centre, death of leaf surface, bunch not developing
Most important disease of  banana, promoted by high moisture and spores spread by wind
Increase spacing between plants to improve air circulation and reduce humidity and remove leaves with mature spots. Regular fungicide application is required.
(Colletotrichum musae)
Brown spots on fruit peel, black lesions on green fruit
Spread by rainfall through plant or banana bunch
Commercially produced Fruits should be washed and dipped in fungicide before shipping, protect fruit from injury, remove flower parts which can harbour fungus
Panama disease
(Fusarium Oxysporum)
Yellowing of Older leaves, splitting of lead sheaths, leaves wilting and buckling death of entire canopy
Lethal disease, spread in soil or running water
Use disease free seed pieces, currently no effective treatment once plants are infected
Yellow Sigatoka
(Mycosphaerella musae)
Pale green flecks on leaves which enlarge to chlorotic streaks enlarge and turn brown with chlorotic halo, mature lesions are grey and dark brown border, lesions coalesce and kill large area of leaves
Spores spread by rain, air and irrigation water
Fungicide application and improved spacing required for air circulation
Bunchy Top
(Banana bunchy top virus – BBTV)
Dark Green Streaks in leaves, chlorotic and upturned leaf margins, leaves brittle and erect, plant has a bunchy top, no bunches produced
Aphid transmitted, when infected symptoms appear after two more leaves are produced
Plant less susceptible varieties, destroy infected plants to prevent spread of disease
Banana Mosaic
cucumber mosaic virus ( CMV )
Chlorotic mottling or stripes on foliage, distorted fruit which may have chlorotic streaks or mottling, distorted leaves, leaf necrosis
Transmitted by aphids, may be transmitted through infected seed
Remove susceptible host plants from around plantation, plant virus-free material
Banana aphid
(Pentalonia nigronervosa)
Deformed plants with curled, shrivelled leaves, colonies of aphids usually present in crown of plant at base of pseudo stem or between the outer leaf sheaths, aphid is soft bodied and red-brown to almost black in color
Colonies are often tended by ants, populations can build up during warm conditions
Insecticidal soaps can prevent aphid populations, plants infected with bunchy top should be removed and destroyed to avoid spread
Coconut Scale
(Aspidiotus destructor)
Small, Flat, Whitish scales, usually on undersides of leaves but may also attach to petioles, peduncles and fruit, plant tissue discoloured and yellowing
Coconut scale attacks a large number of hosts including coconut and other palm species, avocado, cassava, papaya, guava and sugar cane, most common in tropical regions
Biological Control is the best way to manage scale, with lady beetles providing the most effective protection
Banana Weevil
(Cosmopolites Sordidus )
Reduced plant growth and fruit production, plants wilting and toppling over, plant death
Insects are nocturnal, feeding and mating only at night
Plant only healthy plant material, do not plant if any tunnels are visible, hot water treatment of clean trimmed suckers can be used to kill off many eggs and grubs, applications of neem powder can reduce weevil numbers, appropriate insecticides applied at time of planting can help control weevil numbers
Cigar end rot
(Verticillium fructigena, Trachysphaera theobromae)
Tips of fingers initially begin to darken and wrinkle, tips of fingers develop a dark rot, if verticillium fungi are present then the rot is typically dry and the tips become mummified, if Trachysphaera is present, the rotted are become covered with white spores which gives the fingers the ashen appearance characteristics of cigar end rot
Disease is of economic importance in Central and West Africa, also occurs in India, West indies etc.,
Flower should be removed, bunches  should be covered with perforated polyethylene bags, chemical application may require in case of severity
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