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Sigatoka disease reduces the greenlife of bananas

Chillet M., Abadie C., Hubert O., Chilin-Charles Y., De Lapeyre de Bellaire L.. 2009. Crop Protection, 28 (1) : p. 41-45.

DOI: 10.1016/j.cropro.2008.08.008

Sigatoka disease (SD) of bananas is caused by the pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella musicola Leach. This disease provokes necrotic lesions on leaves and serious infestations can lead to a substantial reduction in the leaf area of infected plants and thus to yield losses. In addition to these effects on yield, SD was found to have an impact on fruit quality, especially because exported bananas ripen prematurely. In the present work, a plantation survey and experiments have been conducted in Guadeloupe (FWI) to assess the effect of this disease on the greenlife of bananas harvested at a constant physiological age, as measured in degree-days (dd). Our results revealed that bananas harvested at 900 dd from plants with high Sigatoka disease severity had normal diameter growth, but a shorter greenlife (GL) than bananas harvested from uninfected plants. These results indicate that SD is directly responsible for the reduction of banana greenlife since the reduction of GL could not be attributed to the harvest of fruits at a more advanced physiological age (dd). Furthermore, a correlation was noted between SD severity and GL. The potential physiological mechanisms involved are also discussed.

Mots-clés : musa acuminata; mycosphaerella musicola; qualité; fruit; maladie fongique; maturité; guadeloupe; france; sigatoka

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