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Detection, Identification and the Epidemiology of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. Cubense, Tropical Race 4.
G. H. KEMA (1), N. I. Ordonez (1), M. Salacinas (1), C. Schoen (1), O. Mendes (1), C. Waalwijk (1), M. F. Seidl (1), A. Drenth (2). (1) Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, Netherlands; (2) The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Panama disease hits global banana production again. A new highly pathogenic strain of the devastating <i>Fusarium</i> <i>oxysporum</i> f.sp. <i>cubense</i> (Foc), commonly called Tropical Race 4 (TR4), infects Cavendish bananas as well as many local varieties, thereby threatening global banana production. We have genotyped all Foc vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs) using high- resolution genome wide techniques. This has resulted in unique fragments enabling the development of precise molecular diagnostics that return results in minutes compared to VCG analyses that can take months. Using these technologies we have analysed recent incursions into Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan and compared TR4 strains from these countries with strains from other geographical areas, and complemented the genotyping data by resequencing. The generated data show that TR4 – likely - represent a single clonal lineage that disseminates globally. This underscores the importance of awareness campaigns and through quarantine practices to avoid new continental leaps, which will have dramatics effects on producers and linked industries, similar to the previous Panama disease epidemic in Latin America in the previous century. The latest data will be presented and discussed.

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