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Oral: Biological and Cultural Disease Management


Management of Fusarium wilt Tropical race 4 in bananas
A. DRENTH (1), J. Henderson (2), A. Drenth (2) (1) The University of Queensland, Australia; (2) The University of Queensland, Australia

Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical race 4 (TR4) is one of the most important pathogens of banana which severely affects many banana varieties, including Cavendish. First identified in Taiwan, TR4 has spread rapidly over major banana production areas and has had a major impact on banana production. More recently it has been identified outside Southeast Asia in Mozambique, and in Jordan. The most recent incursion was detected in Australia’s main banana growing region around Tully in North Queensland in March 2015. The continuous long distance dissemination of this fungus, as well as local spread to new plantations and fields, raises many questions concerning our ability for effective containment of this pathogen. The recent outbreak in Australia also highlighted a lack of understanding of many basic pathological and epidemiological facts of this important pathogen. Therefore, our aim was to improve detection and identification of the pathogen, destruction of infected plants, containment strategies and overall management of plantations. In the absence of high levels of resistance in economically acceptable banana varieties, containment may be a temporary but effective strategy to win valuable time to identify or develop banana varieties with high levels of resistance to Panama wilt TR4. A global program for evaluation of germplasm in multiple field sites linked with international collaborators is urgently needed.