Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Banana black cross (071)

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  • Restricted distribution. Asia, Africa, Oceania. On banana and plantains. Usually, a minor disease,
  • Spots, scattered, sometimes in groups, black, like a 4-pointed star, up to 60 mm, with long axis parallel to the veins. Velvet-like mass of spores on underside.
  • Spores spread in rain and wind. Worse under shade, or if infections become sites for Cordana spots.
  • Cultural control: reduce shade or plant in open areas; resistant varieties (e.g., Cavendish, and some FHIA varieties).
  • Chemical control: unlikely to be needed.
Common Name

Banana black cross; back cross disease, tar spot

Scientific Name

Phyllachora musicola

AUTHORS Helen Tsatsia & Grahame Jackson
Information from Liberato JR (2005) Black Cross Leaf Spot (Phyllachora musicola): PaDIL -; and from CABI (2019) Phyllachora musicola (black cross disease of banana). Crop Protection Compendium. ( Photo 1 Brian Thistleton, DPIF, Northern Territory Government, 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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