Risks of fusarium wilt spreading among Philippine bananas
Outbreak of Fusarium Wilt disease at Colombian banana plantations
Two Colombian banana production areas have been quarantined after an outbreak of the Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race IV (TR4) disease, which threatens the world’s bananas. The news has put neighbouring countries are on high alert. The announcement comes after several weeks of speculations among the sector but silence from the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA).
Fusarium wilt disease triggers race to find resistant banana variety
The race is on to develop a banana variety resistant to the diseases and climatic changes that currently threaten the world’s favourite fruit. International trade in the fruit is worth US$13bn a year. But the global supply chain is threatened by a virulent disease that has been attacking plantations in Australia, south-east Asia and parts of Africa and the Middle East. Experts warn that “Fusarium wilt”, or Panama disease, could spread to Latin America, from where the majority of bananas are exported, prompting scientists to research new varieties.
US researchers study fungus to combat Fusarium wilt
Fungus might provide the solution to a disease that strikes tomatoes. Scientists from the University of Florida are working on this method as a means to help control Fusarium wilt. Tomatoes represent Florida’s main vegetable crop, with 28,000 acres commercially harvested in 2017, worth US$262 million. Funded by a three-year grant from the USDA, associate professor of plant pathology, Gary Vallad, is working with colleagues from other universities to develop an approach using a fungus called trichoderma to combat Fusarium wilt.