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Black leaf streak disease is challenging the banana industry

De Lapeyre de Bellaire L., Fouré E., Abadie C., Carlier J.. 2010. Fruits, 65 (6) : p. 327-342.

DOI: 10.1051/fruits/2010034

Introduction. Black Leaf Streak Disease (BLSD) is regarded as the most economically important threat that the banana industry has to face. Effectively, this foliar disease affects leaf photosynthesis but, above all, reduces the greenlife of fruits, that cannot be exported in cases of severe infestation. Main characteristics of Black Leaf Streak Disease. More than 20 Mycosphaerella species have been described on bananas. Leaf spot diseases of bananas are caused by some species of this complex, of which M. fijiensis (BLSD) and M. musicola (Sigatoka disease) are the most important. M. fijiensis is an invasive species that has totally replaced M. musicola in most banana-exporting countries, which was conducive to increasing difficulties in banana leaf spot control. BLSD causes increasing difficulties for control. Since all banana cultivars grown in the banana industry are highly susceptible to BLSD, the control of this disease relies on aerial applications of fungicides according to either systematic frameworks (mostly contact fungicides) or forecasting strategies (mostly systemic fungicides). In a banana-exporting country where M. fijiensis has been reported, BLSD control becomes increasingly more difficult. This evolution is essentially due to the rapid emergence of fungicide resistance, and is conducive to a significant increase in the cost of disease control but, above all, to increasing negative environmental effects. Challenges for the banana industry. Because of the rapid adaptation of M. fijiensis , the banana industry must be prepared for significant evolution. We propose various parameters that should be monitored at different levels (disease assessment parameters, evaluation of chemical control efficiency, global evaluation of BLSD economic incidence) to rationalize such evolution. The modelization of BLSD effects on bunch mass and greenlife should enable defining acceptable disease thresholds and optimizing bunch weight and harvest stage according to agronomic practices. On the other hand, fungicide use is conducive to significant environmental impact and must be limited. Forecasting strategies should be used wherever systemic fungicides are still efficient. Finally, the predominance of a unique type of susceptible cultivar is unsustainable and the recourse to resistant varieties in an integrated strategy is undoubtedly the future of BLSD control.

Mots-clés : mycosphaerella fijiensis; musa; maladie des raies noires

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