Ploetz, Randy C. Department of Plant Pathology, Tropical Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Homestead, Florida.
Last reviewed:May 2020
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- Bananas and plantains
- Panama disease
- Tropical race 4
- Disease management
- Breeding programs
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A deadly fungal disease of bananas caused by a soilborne fungus. Panama disease, also known as Fusarium wilt of bananas (Musa species), is one of the most destructive fungal diseases of plants (Fig. 1). It is caused by a soilborne fungus, Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (abbreviated Foc), and has affected bananas across the globe. In particular, the most prevalent naturally occurring bananas, that is, those of the Cavendish variety, are being severely decimated by Panama disease in Asia and Australia. Agricultural experts fear that the pathogenic fungal strains (pathotypes) responsible for Panama disease will spread throughout Africa and the Americas, leading to the ultimate demise of the Cavendish bananas. See also: Agricultural science (plant); Banana; Fruit; Fruit, tree; Fungal infections; Fungi; Plant pathology
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