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Mycosphaerella musicola Identified as the Only Pathogen of the Sigatoka Disease Complex Present in Minas Gerais State, Brazil

December 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  12
Pages  1,537 - 1,543

Lahyre Izaete S. Gomes, Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil; Greg W. Douhan, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521; Líllian B. J. Bibiano, Luiz A. Maffia, and Eduardo S. G. Mizubuti, Departamento de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, 36570-000 Viçosa, MG, Brazil

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Accepted for publication 11 June 2013.

A thorough assessment of the distribution of Mycosphaerella spp. associated with banana in Minas Gerais State, Brazil, was conducted after Mycosphaerella fijiensis was first reported to occur in this region in 2005. From 2009 to 2011, 80 fields located in 20 municipalities including the same fields where the disease was first reported were sampled. A total of 800 samples of leaf tissue with symptoms similar to those of yellow or black Sigatoka diseases were examined, and 239 isolates were obtained. The identification of the fungi was based on morphological characters combined with DNA sequences obtained after amplification with species-specific primers and phylogeny inferred from the internal transcribed spacer region of Mycosphaerella strains from banana. All 239 isolates were identified as Mycosphaerella musicola. The absence of M. fijiensis in the samples may have been due to misidentification of M. fijiensis or the displacement of M. fijiensis by M. musicola. It is now apparent that yellow Sigatoka caused by M. musicola is the prevailing leaf spot disease of bananas in Minas Gerais State and that regulatory/legislative control measures need to be revised based on our findings.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society