Tropical race 4 of Panama disease in the Middle East

Background

Panama disease (aka Fusarium wilt) of banana (Musa spp.) has been a destructive problem for well over a century. Race 1 of the pathogen, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), was responsible for the demise of the first export trades of banana that were based on the cultivar ‘Gros Michel’. Currently, tropical race 4 (TR4) impacts the Cavendish cultivars, which are most important in both export and smallholder production. TR4 was confirmed in Jordan in 2013, but has probably been present in the country since at least 2005. The outbreak in Jordan was apparently the first occurrence of Panama disease in the Middle East, but it also represented a considerable expansion of TR4’s distribution, which had previously been restricted to the Far East. How TR4 arrived in Jordan is not known. However, it is clear that TR4 has spread within Jordan, and is now also present elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. We review the history, epidemiology and management of Panama disease, and discuss the current distribution of TR4 and its potential impact on banana production in the Middle East.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest. The research did not involve Human Participants or Animals.

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Ploetz, R., Freeman, S., Konkol, J. et al. Tropical race 4 of Panama disease in the Middle East. Phytoparasitica 43, 283–293 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12600-015-0470-5

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Keywords

  • Fusarium wilt of banana
  • Panama disease
  • Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense
  • Musa spp
  • Cavendish