European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 149, Issue 2, pp 385–400 | Cite as

A control package revolving around the removal of single diseased banana stems is effective for the restoration of Xanthomonas wilt infected fields

  • Guy BlommeEmail author
  • Walter Ocimati
  • Charles Sivirihauma
  • Lusenge Vutseme
  • Bumba Mariamu
  • Muller Kamira
  • Boudy van Schagen
  • Javier Ekboir
  • Jules Ntamwira


Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum, the causal agent of Xanthomonas wilt of banana (XW), does not infect or cause symptom development in all physically attached shoots in an infected mat. Incomplete/partial systemicity and latent infections often occur. The single diseased stem removal (SDSR, the removal of only symptomatic plants) technique depends on these observations. The SDSR technique, as an alternative or complementary practice to complete mat uprooting (CMU) for XW control, was evaluated at eight XW pilot sites in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo as a novel control option. This technique is low-cost, simple and easily applicable. Within one month, XW plant incidence at the experimental sites declined to below 10%, while within three and 10 months declined to below 2% and 1%, respectively. Restoration of banana plots was observed even in plots that initially had over 80% plant disease incidence. CMU removes a larger portion of the inoculum in a field but is very tedious, time consuming and costly in terms of labour and lost production, due to the premature cutting of symptomless plants that potentially could bear a bunch. CMU can potentially prevent further spread when XW appears for the first time on a farm or location. The choice of CMU relative to SDSR also depends largely on farming objectives. CMU can be carried out in intensive and market-oriented production systems, whose ultimate target is eradication, for example, in South-Western Uganda. In contrast, SDSR is more appealing to subsistence-oriented production, such as in eastern DR Congo, Burundi or central Uganda, whose target is more oriented towards management/control. SDSR can be suggested where access to clean planting material is difficult, thus could be recommended to a very large percentage of small-scale farmers in the currently affected banana-based production systems in east and central Africa.


Bacterial wilt of banana Complete mat uprooting Democratic Republic of Congo Disease control Farming objectives Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum 



This work was supported by the Directorate General for Development (DGD-Belgium) under grant “Transforming CIALCA into a Humidtropics platform in East and Central Africa – CIALCA+” (D4.33/Jk/MUL. and grant “FAO-Food Security Risks in the Great Lakes Region – Rapid response to the threat of banana diseases” (FAOR/LOA No 003/2014). This study was conducted in partnership with the Institut National pour l’Etude de la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA-Mulungu, South Kivu) and the Université Catholique du Graben (UCG), Butembo, North Kivu. Special thanks goes to David Turner, The University of Western Australia, for editing the manuscript. This work was carried out in the overall framework of the CGIAR research program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas.


  1. Abele, S., & Pillay, M. (2008). Bacterial wilt and drought stresses in banana production and their impact on economic welfare in Uganda. Journal of Crop Improvement, 19, 173–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Adriko, J., Aritua, V., Mortensen, C. N., Tushemereirwe, W. K., Kubiriba, J., & Lund, O. S. (2011). Multiplex PCR for specific and robust detection of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum in pure culture and infected plant material. Plant Pathology, 61, 1–8.Google Scholar
  3. Biruma, M., Pillay, M., Tripathi, L., Blomme, G., Abele, S., Mwangi, M., Bandyopadhyay, R., Muchunguzi, P., Kassim, S., Nyine, M., Turyagenda, L., & Eden-Green, S. (2007). Banana xanthomonas wilt: A review of the disease, management strategies and future research directions. African Journal of Biotechnology, 6(8), 953–962.Google Scholar
  4. Blomme, G., Turyagyenda, L. F., Mukasa, H., Ssekiwoko, F., Mpiira, S., & EdenGreen, S. (2009). The effect of the prompt removal of inflorescenceinfected plants and early debudding of inflorescences on the control of xanthomonas wilt of banana. Acta Horticulturae, 828, 51–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carter, B. A., Reeder, R., Mgenzi, S. R., Kinyua, Z. M., Mbaka, J. N., Doyle, K., Nakato, V., Mwangi, M., Beed, F., Aritua, V., Lewis Ivey, M. L., Miller, S. A., & Smith, J. J. (2010). Identification of Xanthomonas vasicola (formerly X. campestris pv. musacearum), causative organism of banana xanthomonas wilt, in Tanzania, Kenya and Burundi. Plant Pathology, 59, 403–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Castellani, E. (1939). Su un marciume dell’ Ensete. L’Agricoltura Coloniale, Firenze, 33, 297–300.Google Scholar
  7. ENRA. (2012). Rapport synthèse annuelle d’observation météorologique pour les années 2009 et 2011 (p. 6). RD Congo: Beni.Google Scholar
  8. Gold, C. S., & Bandyopadhyay, R. (2005). Identifying insect vectors and transmission mechanisms for BXW. Final Technical Report: DfID. RNNRS CPP R8484. UK.Google Scholar
  9. Gold, C. S., Bandyopadhyay, R., Tinzaara, W., Ssekiwoko, F., & Eden-Green, S. (2006). Identifying Insect Vectors and Transmission Mechanisms for BXW Insect Transmission. Final Technical Report R8484 (ZA0695 and ZA0714) EG Consulting, Lunsford Lane, Lark field, Kent ME20 6JA, UK 470.Google Scholar
  10. Jogo, W., Karamura, E., Tinzaara, W., Kubiriba, J., & Rietveld, A. (2013). Determinants of farm-level adoption of cultural practices for banana xanthomonas wilt control in Uganda. Journal of Agricultural Science, 5, 70–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kalyebara, R. M., Ragama, P. E., Kagezi, G. H., Kubiriba, J., Bagamba, F., Nankinga, K. C., & Tushemereirwe, W. (2006). Economic importance of BBW in Uganda. The African Crop Science Journal, 14, 93–103.Google Scholar
  12. Karamura, E., Kayobyo, G., Tushemereirwe, W., Blomme, G., Eden Green, S., & Markham, R. (2010). Assessing the impacts of banana bacterial wilt disease on banana (Musa spp.) productivity and livelihoods of Ugandan farm households. Acta Horticulturae, 879, 749–756.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kubiriba, J., Karamura, E. B., Tushemereirwe, W. K., & Tinzaara, W. (2012). Community mobilization: A key to effective control of banana xanthomonas wilt. Journal of Development and Agricultural Economics, 4, 125–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Mbaka, J. N., Nakato, V. G., Auma, J., & Odero, B. (2009). Status of banana Xanthomonas wilt in western Kenya and factors enhancing its spread. African Crop Science Conference Proceedings, 9, 673–6.Google Scholar
  15. Mwangi, M., & Nakato, V. (2007). Key factors responsible for the banana xanthomonas wilt pandemic on banana in east and Central Africa. In: ISHS/ProMusa symposium, recent advances in banana crop protection for sustainable production and improved livelihoods. Acta Horticulturae, 828, 395–404.Google Scholar
  16. Mwangi, M., Mwebaze, M., Bandyopadhyay, R., Aritua, A., Eden-Green, S. J., Tushemereirwe, W., & Smith, J. (2007). Development of a semi-selective medium for the isolation of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum from insect vectors, infected plant material and soil. Plant Pathology, 56, 383–390.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Nakato, G. V., Ocimati, W., Blomme, G., Fiaboe, K. K. M., & Beed, F. (2014). Comparative importance of infection routes for banana xanthomonas wilt and implications on disease epidemiology and management. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. doi: 10.1080/07060661.2014.959059.Google Scholar
  18. Ndungo, V., Eden-Green, S., Blomme, G., Crozier, J., & Smith, J. J. (2006). Presence of banana xanthomonas wilt (Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum) in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Plant Pathology, 55, 294–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ngongo, M., & Lunze, L. (2000). Espèce d’herbe dominante comme indice de la productivité du sol et de la réponse du haricot commun à l’application du compost. African Crop Science Journal, 8, 251–261.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ocimati, W., Ssekiwoko, F., Karamura, E., Tinzaara, W., Eden-Green, S., & Blomme, G. (2013). Systemicity of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum and time to disease expression after inflorescence infection in east African highland and Pisang Awak bananas in Uganda. Plant Pathology, 62, 777–785.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Ocimati, W., Nakato, G. V., Fiaboe, K. M., Beed, F., & Blomme, G. (2014). Incomplete systemic movement of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum and the occurrence of latent infections in xanthomonas wilt-infected banana mats. Plant Pathology. doi: 10.1111/ppa.12233.
  22. Reeder, R. H., Muhinyuza, J. B., Opolot, O., Aritua, V., Crozier, J., & Smith, J. (2007). Presence of banana bacterial wilt (Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum) in Rwanda. Plant Pathology, 56, 1038–1038.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rutikanga, A., Night, G., Tusiime, G., Ocimati, W., & Blomme, G. (2015). Spatial and temporal distribution of insect vectors of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum and their activity across banana cultivars grown in Rwanda. In D. Marčić, M. Glavendekić, & P. Nicot (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th congress on plant protection (pp. 139–153). Belgrade: Plant Protection Society of Serbia, IOBC-EPRS, IOBC-WPRS.Google Scholar
  24. Ssekiwoko, F., Turyagyenda, L. F., Mukasa, H., Eden-Green, S., & Blomme, G. (2006). Systemicity of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum in flower-infected banana plants. XVII ACORBAT International Meeting: Banana: A Sustainable Business. Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil, October 15–20, 2006. pp. 789–793.Google Scholar
  25. Tinzaara, W., Gold, C. S., Ssekiwoko, F., Tushemereirwe, W., Bandyopadhyay, R., Abera, A., & Eden-Green, S. J. (2006). Role of insects in the transmission of banana bacterial wilt. African Crop Science Journal, 14, 105–110.Google Scholar
  26. Tinzaara, W., Karamura, E. B., Blomme, G., Jogo, W., Ocimati, W., Rietveld, W., Kubiriba, J., & Opio, F. (2013). In: Van den Bergh et al. (eds), Why sustainable management of Xanthomonas wilt of banana in East and Central Africa has been elusive. Proceedings of the International ISHS-ProMusa Symposium on Bananas and Plantains: Toward Sustainable Global Production and Improved uses. Acta Horticulturae, 986, 157–164.Google Scholar
  27. Tushemereirwe, W., Kangire, A., Ssekiwoko, F., Offord, L. C., Crozier, J., Boa, E., Rutherford, M., & Smith, J. J. (2004). First Report of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum on Banana in Uganda. Plant Pathology, 53, 802.Google Scholar
  28. VSN International Ltd. (2009). GenStat 12th Edition.
  29. World Bank. (2007). World Development Report 2008. Agriculture for Development. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  30. Yirgou, D., & Bradbury, J. F. (1968). Bacterial wilt of enset (Ensete ventricosum) incited by Xanthomonas musacearum sp.n. Phytopathology, 58, 111–112.Google Scholar
  31. Yirgou, D., & Bradbury, J. F. (1974). A note on wilt of banana caused by the enset wilt organism Xanthomonas musacearum. East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal, 40, 111–114.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Blomme
    • 1
    Email author
  • Walter Ocimati
    • 2
  • Charles Sivirihauma
    • 3
  • Lusenge Vutseme
    • 3
  • Bumba Mariamu
    • 4
  • Muller Kamira
    • 4
  • Boudy van Schagen
    • 5
  • Javier Ekboir
    • 6
  • Jules Ntamwira
    • 4
  1. 1.Bioversity International, c/o ILRIAddis AbabaEthiopia
  2. 2.Bioversity InternationalKampalaUganda
  3. 3.Bioversity InternationalButemboDemocratic Republic of Congo
  4. 4.Bioversity InternationalBukavuDemocratic Republic of Congo
  5. 5.Bioversity InternationalBujumburaBurundi
  6. 6.Institutional Learning and Change Initiative (ILAC)RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations