Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Banana bacterial (Erwinia) wilt (214)

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  • Worldwide distribution. On banana, and many other crops and ornamentals. A minor disease of banana.
  • On mature plants before fruit ripens; leaves wilt, die, and hang around the stem. Internal smelly rot. Rhizome rots also occur after planting and, later, at the base causing plants to fall over.
  • Spread when suckers trimmed, and soil bacteria splashed into 'throat' when young or into wounds.
  • Cultural control: choose only healthy suckers; disinfect knives (bleach); use only well decomposed manures; remove diseased plants; improve drainage.
  • Chemical control: not appropriate for this disease.
Common Name

Banana wilt, Erwinia wilt. There does not seem to be any accepted common name for this disease. Bacterial heart rot (of banana) is also thought to be caused by Erwinia species.

Scientific Name

Erwinia carotovora ssp. carotovora (now renamed Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum), possibly in association with Erwinia crysanthemi.

Note, Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. carotovorum causes a basal stalk rot of Chinese cabbage (see Fact Sheet no. 101).

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information from Diseases of fruit crops in Australia (2009). Editors, Tony Cooke, et al. CSIRO Publishing. Photos 1&2 Kohler F, et al. (1997) Diseases of cultivated crops in Pacific Island countries. South Pacific Commission. Pirie Printers Pty Limited, Canberra, Australia. Photo 3 Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland, Australia.

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project PC/2010/090: Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific Islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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