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Selection, evaluation and transfer of 4 new and resistant banana varieties for local and regional markets

Amar C., Bugaud C., Salmon F., Satney M., Frederick S., Alexander L.. 2014. In : Caribbean sustainable banana. Interreg project 2010-2014. Montpellier : CIRAD, 1 p.. Final Workshop of the Interreg Project Caribbean Sustainable Banana, 2014-10-13/2014-10-16, Rodney Bay (Sainte-Lucie).

Black Sigatoka disease is a serious foliar disease of banana, caused by the ascomycete fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis. This airborne disease is one of the main biotic constraints for dessert banana plantations all over the world. In the Caribbean region, all countries are now affected, because the fungus recently spread in 2009 at Saint Vincent, in 2010 at Saint Lucia and in Martinique, in 2012 in Guadeloupe and Dominica. Since 2011, in the framework of the European Interreg project "Caribbean Sustainable Banana", four resistant banana hybrids, CIRAD 916, CIRAD 918, CIRAD 920 and CIRAD 924, are being evaluated in the Caribbean. These assessments involve agronomic performances and measurements of the resistance to Black Sigatoka disease. The results of 2 growing cycles showed a partial resistance to the disease, further confirmed by observations in Saint Lucia, in Saint Vincent and in Dominica. These results were observed despite low agronomic constants that were greatly reduced compared to those observed on plots with better conditions: low fertilizer inputs insufficient to provide optimal nutrition for the banana trees. Despite these conditions nevertheless conducive for the spread of the disease, all hybrids, during the first and second cycles of the plant were diagnosed as partially resistant, with necrotic leaf stages that were rarely observed. Those resistant hybrids transferred in the Caribbean region produce fruits with different organoleptic qualities from those of the most common variety Cavendish "Cv 902". Initial tests showed that some of those hybrids have the potential to be traded on local and possibly regional markets. For example, the hybrid CIRAD 916 is now the most appreciated in Saint Lucia and in Dominica. (Résumé d'auteur)

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