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Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 – Biosecurity and Sustainable Solutions

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Lindsay, S. J. (2018) Fusarium Wilt Tropical Race 4 – Biosecurity and Sustainable Solutions. Project Report. Hort Innovation.


Article Link: https://www.horticulture.com.au/globalassets/laser...


An incursion of the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4) was identified on a farm in the Tully region in March 2015. The wet tropical coast region, including Tully, produces 96% of Australia’s banana crop worth approximately $600 million annually and sustains regional communities in coastal north Queensland. Fusarium wilt of banana – also known as Panama disease – is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense and is regarded as one of the most destructive diseases of banana and has devastated banana production in many countries around the world. Very few varieties are resistant to the Foc TR4 strain of the pathogen and despite years of breeding no commercially acceptable varieties have proven to be fully resistant.
This project has aimed to deliver new science, information and practices to address key areas of need for the banana industry to:
• Successfully contain the disease and prevent further spread of the pathogen through the adoption of robust, science‐based biosecurity practices and
• Identify and investigate options to facilitate the development of economically viable production systems, capable of minimising inoculum build up, that are suitable for use on infected or at risk farms.
The adoption of effective biosecurity practices on north Queensland banana farms has been significantly supported by project activities identifying risk pathways for spread of the pathogen, research identifying the most effective disinfectant products, research activities outlining how to monitor and manage their use and replenishment and how to effectively destroy inoculum in infected plants to minimise build up in the soil. The project has also significantly progressed development of methods for assessment of plant stress and its influence on Foc infection, identified possible rotation crops that suppress Foc populations in the soil and the influence of ground cover and nitrogen management practices on the soil microbiome and its capacity to suppress Foc.
Significant extension and communication efforts have been made to keep the banana industry informed of the latest results as they became available and a biosecurity Best Management Practice guide has been produced with input from banana producers and regulatory agency staff that can assist banana growers to benchmark their biosecurity practices and identify potential improvements. Evaluation activities have shown that the project has significantly influenced knowledge change and practice adoption in the banana industry.

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Final report Fusarium wilt; Banana; Biosecurity; Disinfectants; Varieties; Plant stress; Soil micro‐organisms
Subjects:Science > Invasive Species > Plants > Eradication and containment
Plant culture > Food crops
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture
Plant culture > Fruit and fruit culture > Culture of individual fruits or types of fruit > Bananas
Plant pests and diseases
Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Live Archive:19 Feb 2019 03:48
Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 06:02

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