Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Banana freckle (124)

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  • Narrow distribution. Asia, US (Hawaii), Oceania. Four species. On banana. Note, one species (Phyllosticta cavendishii) infects Cavendish (and AAB and ABB1), and is widely distributed. An important disease.
  • Reddish-brown spots (0.5-1 mm), turning dark, on the top of leaf, sometimes in groups. Feels rough, as sacs with spores protrude above leaf and fruit surfaces. Leaves turn yellow and die early. Spots on fruits affect sales.
  • Spread in wind and rain, in leaves, suckers and fruit.
  • Biosecurity: under eradication in Australia (Northern Territory).
  • Cultural control: bag bunches; cut out leaf infections.
  • Chemical control: if needed, use mancozeb, triazoles or strobilurins (see notes Fact Sheet no. 2).
Common Name

Banana freckle

Scientific Name

Previously, freckle was Phyllosticta musarum and its sexual form, Guignardia musae; now four species are recognised: Phyllosticta cavendishii, Phyllosticta musarum, Phyllosticta maculata, and Guignardia stevensii.

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
1A way of classifying banana depending on the number of chromosomes and the ratio of the parents Musa accuminata and Musa balbisiana. Information from (including Photo 1) Gerlach WWP (1988) Plant diseases of Western Samoa. Samoan German Crop Protection Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) Gmbh, Germany); and Banana freckle (2019) Business Queensland. Queensland Government. (; and from Banana freckle (2020) Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. (; and from Plant Health Australia (undated) Bananas freckle (Cavendish strain). Fact Sheet. ( Photos 2,3&5 Diseases of fruit crops in Australia (2009). Editors, Tony Cooke, et al. CSIRO Publishing. Photo 4 Jacquie (Wright) Kami, formerly Plant Pathologist, Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Suva, Fiji.

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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