Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Banana Fusarium wilt (176)

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  • Worldwide distribution. Four races, and two strains. Tropical race 4 (TR4), spreading worldwide, is a major threat. TR4, first detected in Asia in the 1990s, now in Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, China and northern Australia. Outbreaks were recently in Mozambique (2013), Jordan (2014), and Pakistan, Lebanon and Queensland, Australia (2015).
  • A soil-borne fungus, affecting bananas, plantains, and Heliconia. Fusarium enters the roots, blocks water flow, and leaves yellow, dry and wilt. Internally, red rings occur.
  • Biosecurity: TR4 is present in northern Australia; the outbreak in Queensland is under Queensland Government control.
  • Spread is root-to-root, run-off water, in soil and suckers for planting.
  • Cultural control: certified plants or suckers only from disease-free areas; clean tools, machinery, shoes; leave infected plant to die, or use herbicide to hasten, then burn in place; fence affected area, and divert run-off rainwater. Check for resistant (FHIA) varieties.
  • Chemical: none recommended.
Common Name

Panama disease of banana, Fusarium wilt of banana.

Scientific Name

Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense

AUTHOR Grahame Jackson
Information (and Photos 1&2) Diseases of fruit crops in Australia (2009). Editors, Tony Cooke, et al. CSIRO Publishing; and CABI (2020) Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Panama disease of banana) and Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense tropical race (TR4). Crop Protection Compendium. ( and; and Panama disease tropical race 4 (TR4) (2021) Business Queensland. Queensland Government. (; and from Dita M et al. (2018) Fusarium wilt of banana: current knowledge on epidemiology and research needs toward sustainable disease management. Frontiers in Plant Science. ( 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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