Recently, the find of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense tropicalrace 4 in Cavendish bananas was reported for the first time. The fungus causes Fusarium wilt, also known as Panama disease. Along Turkeys Mediterranean coast the Cavendish banana is a valuable agricultural crop. In 2018 banana plants in greenhouses showing severe wilt symptoms and collapse were investigated. The fungi isolated from the banana plants were identified with molecular techniques and showed to be TR4. This find marks a further expand of TR4’s dissemination into the Middle-East.
Production of the Cavendish banana along the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey is around 369,000 tons, which meets 67.7% of the domestic demand. In banana greenhouses in cities of Alanya, Anamur and Gazipasa, plants showing severe wilt symptoms and collapse were detected in March 2018. Yellowing of the oldest leaves that split at their base, brownish streaks of the vascular tissue of pseudostems, and root necrosis were observed on Cavendish ‘Grand Naine’.
Read the first report of TR4 in Turkey in the Plant disease magazine here.