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Anthracnose, banana - Uganda: (Western) susp



A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Source: The Daily Monitor [edited]
The government has confirmed an outbreak of [a] new and more deadly banana disease in western Uganda. The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) says the fast-spreading disease is drying up banana plants and wilting fruits at a terrifying rate. The ministry also said there is as yet no known drug that can be used to stop the disease.

Sources from affected areas say the disease started last month [January 2020], with Ntungamo and Kabarole being worst-hit districts. MAAIF said the disease, although dangerous, is not as serious as bacterial banana wilt. The ministry took samples to determine the particular infectious agents.

"We suspect it to be anthracnose," the commissioner of crop protection said. [He] said the disease is one of the effects of weather. "[It] is caused by elevated temperatures and high humidity." He advised farmers to improve sanitation, pruning and spacing, destroying affected plants and adding manure.

[Byline: Tonny Abet]

Communicated by:

[Anthracnose of banana can be caused by several species of _Colletotrichum_ fungi (such as _C. musae_, _C. gloeosporioides_). It is considered a serious disease of the crop and can lead to severe losses of fruits pre- and post-harvest. Symptoms include dark, sunken lesions on fruits, premature ripening, and rotting. Infection usually occurs during fruit development but does not become apparent until ripening begins. Wounding of fruit skins during handling and transport provides entry points for further spread of the fungi.

Fungi in the genus _Colletotrichum_ have been reported to cause anthracnose-like symptoms on many crops. The fungi have a long saprophytic survival ability on plant debris and fallen leaves. These are the main sources of inoculum and spread may occur with infected plant material, by mechanical means (including insect activities), with wind, and water splash. Disease development is favoured by humid conditions during the period from the onset of flowering until fruit are about half size. Control of anthracnose usually centers on a diligent fungicide programme, but may also include phytosanitation to reduce inoculum, as well as cultural measures to reduce environmental moisture.

Bacterial banana wilt in central Africa, as mentioned above, is caused by _Xanthomonas campestris_ pv. _musacearum_ (BXM; other bacterial wilts are present elsewhere). In Uganda, the disease started in 2001 and has been spreading since at a rate of up to 75 km [about 47 mi] per year. For more information on BXW see ProMED-mail post 20180927.6057165 and older items in the archives.

Uganda: and
Uganda districts:
Africa, overview:

Anthracnose symptoms on banana fruit:,, and
Banana anthracnose photo gallery:

Story also available via:
Information on banana anthracnose:,,,,,, and
Anthracnose diseases in multiple hosts:,,,,,, and via
_C. musae_ taxonomy:
_Colletotrichum_ species list and synonyms via:
- Mod.DHA]

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