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POSTERS: Analytical and theoretical plant pathology

Risk factors for bacterial diseases of banana in Haiti and the Caribbean
Wanita Dantes - Plant Pathology Department, University of Florida.

Risk factors for Banana Xanthomonas Wilt in Haiti and the Caribbean.

Wanita Dantes, Joubert Fayette, James C. Fulton, Yanru Xing, Kelsey F. Andersen, Robin A. Choudhury, Margareth Divers, Karen A. Garrett

Banana and plantain are important components of the diet in Haiti and are subject to yield loss from several plant pathogens. The introduction of the emerging pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum (Xcm) would threaten food security for many farmers. We evaluated several risk factors that are potentially important for the spread of Xcm into Haiti and the Caribbean region. We found that the risk of introduction of Xcm is very high because it has been informally reported in some neighboring regions causing important economic losses in banana production. Xcm may be transmitted through banana and plantain trade between these neighboring regions and Haiti. We also used cropland connectivity analysis and found that a high disease risk due to spread between plantings of banana and plantain and other species that share the same pathogens. Plantings that are closer together, and that have denser production of banana and plantain, have a greater risk of spread. Haiti has particularly dense plantings of banana and plantain and has suitable weather conditions for the disease, placing the country at high risk of pathogen introduction and establishment. We evaluate how these system components interact to create higher and lower disease risk regions for banana and plantain in Haiti.