The fungus causes the Banana Sigatoka Disease Mycospharella musicola is one of the most destructive diseases that affects banana crops worldwide. The economic impact of Banana Sigatoka Disease is significant, as it attacks the leaves and reduces photosynthesis, fruit yield, quality, and marketability and can result in the complete loss of yield. The disease was first reported in Central Africa in the 1960s and is also known as Mycospharella Leaf Spot, Leaf Streak, Yellow Sigatoka, or Black Sigatoka Disease.
Developing resistant banana varieties and implementing integrated pest management strategies are crucial in managing the disease. To effectively manage this disease, it is important to understand its disease cycle, the mode of disease spread, and the best methods for controlling it. This article will provide an overview and discussion of the Banana Sigatoka Disease in Banana crops, including its symptoms, identification techniques, and control.
Banana Sigatoka Disease Management
The Causal Organism of Banana Sigatoka Disease
- Mycospharella musicola is an obligate fungal pathogen that belongs to the Family Mycosphaerellaceae of Order Capnodiales of the Phylum Ascomycota. It is formerly known as Cercospora musae.
- The pathogen produces spores called conidia, dispersed by wind and water to other parts of the plant or other banana plants.
- The pathogen also produces ascospores.
The Disease Cycle of Banana Sigatoka Disease
- The disease cycle of the Banana Sigatoka Disease, Mycospharella musicola, in Banana Crops begins with the fungal spores penetrating the stomata or wounds in the leaves. Once inside, it colonizes the tissues and starts to grow and spread.
- The disease cycle of Banana Sigatoka Disease begins with the production of spores by the fungus. Conidia are produced and dispersed by wind, rain, and human activities, such as the movement of infected plant material. Ascospores are enclosed within fruiting bodies called pseudothecia. The pseudothecia are formed on dead infected leaves and are dispersed by rain and wind.
- When the spores come in contact with a susceptible banana plant, they germinate and penetrate the plant tissue. The fungus then colonizes the tissue and starts to grow and spread. The symptoms of Banana Sigatoka Disease appear after incubation, ranging from a few days to several weeks, depending on the environmental conditions.
- As the disease progresses, the infected leaves develop necrotic lesions, which coalesce and lead to defoliation. The loss of leaves reduces the plant’s photosynthetic capacity, leading to reduced yield and fruit quality. In severe cases, the disease can cause the death of the entire plant.
Occurrence of Banana Sigatoka Disease in Banana Crop
- Location of Banana Sigatoka disease: This disease occurs in Banana crops in India, Africa, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Australia.
- Host range: The most common crops affected by Mycospharella musicola are Banana, Plantains, and other Wild banana species.
Favorable Conditions for Banana Sigatoka Disease Spread in the Field
- The disease can develop rapidly in warm temperatures, promoting the fungus’s growth and spread. And requires a moist environment for spore germination, penetration, and infection of banana leaves.
- The optimal temperature range for Mycospharella musicola growth is 20-28°C, and high humidity levels between 85-100% are ideal.
- Heavy rain can cause the fungal spores to spread quickly and infect new leaves, increasing the severity of the disease.
- The proximity of plants in dense plantations increases the likelihood of spore transfer from infected plants to healthy ones.
- Young banana plants are more susceptible to Banana Sigatoka Disease than mature plants.
- Nutrient deficiencies, especially potassium, can increase the susceptibility of banana plants to the disease. A lack of potassium can weaken the