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Assessment of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum host range and banana cultivars susceptibility in Rwanda

Florence Uwamahoro: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

<div>The bacteria,<em> Xanthomonas campestris</em> pv. <em>musacearum</em> causing banana <em>Xanthomonas</em> wilt is widely spread in Rwanda and infects all cultivated bananas. Effective management necessitates the knowledge of host range and cultivars’ susceptibility. Twelve plants of each of 17 suspected hosts (banana, blood banana, beans, <em>Canna edulis, C. indica</em>, <em>C. pretolia</em>, capsicum, cassava, colcasia, enset, groundnuts, maize, potato, pumpkins, sorghum, potato and wheat) and ten plants of each of 5 banana cultivars (Fhia-17, Fhia-25, Injagi, Mporogoma and Nkazikamwa) were inoculated with <em>X. campestris pv. musacearum</em> isolate in controlled environment. Control plants were inoculated with sterile water. Only banana and its relatives (enset, blood banana and <em>Canna</em> spp.) developed <em>Xanthomonas</em> wilt symptoms. Latency phase varied from 16 to 29 days after inoculation (dai), rapid complete wilting was observed in banana (44 dai) and late complete wilting in <em>C. indica</em> (72 dai). None of the 5 cultivars tested was resistant to <em>X. campestris pv musacearum</em>. Latency phase (13-19 dai) and days to complete wilting (39-65 dai) varied among cultivars. Distributed cultivars are highly susceptible, thus, access to resistant transgenic bananas and information on how to limit the disease spread is recommended. Since <em>X. campestris pv. musacearum</em> can infect banana relatives, these plants should be avoided in neighbouring farms or gardens to banana and flower industry should be notified about the potential threat.</div>