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Improved plant protection in the banana industry

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Lindsay, S. J. (2022) Improved plant protection in the banana industry. Project Report. Hort Innovation.


Article Link: https://www.horticulture.com.au/growers/help-your-...


The tropical and subtropical banana growing regions in Australia provide environmental conditions favourable for the development of a wide range of pest and disease problems. As a result, cost effective and sustainable pest and disease control practices producing fruit meeting the commercial market specifications remains a significant challenge and cost for the Australian banana industry. Research and development activities can help address these pest and disease issues through development of new integrated management practices and accessing and screening new disease resistant varieties. This project combined diverse research and development work into a program approach to undertake activities addressing these high priority issues. A major priority was identification of banana varieties with adequate Fusarium wilt TR4 and Race 1 resistance. The project did this with varietal screening trials in north Queensland, the Northern Territory and NSW. Relationships between project staff and international banana breeding agencies in Taiwan, Brazil and France facilitated access to new banana germplasm. New banana selections were also available from a previous industry project using a novel breeding approach to improve agronomic characteristics or consumer acceptability in resistant varieties. Banana varieties identified in field trials with disease resistance and promising agronomic performance were advanced to assessment under commercial production practices in a network of on-farm field trials across the main Australian production regions. Safe importation of new banana varieties was conducted through post-entry quarantine tissue culture and glasshouse facilities established to specifically facilitate importation of banana germplasm. These facilities allow for detailed screening against viral and phytoplasma diseases by experienced project staff. Integrated pest and disease management activities were focused on key priorities confirmed through industry consultation. Softer chemical and biological control options were major research priorities for bunch pests, pest mites, leaf disease and nematodes. Field and glasshouse trials were undertaken to investigate these aspects to improve management practices and options for industry. To manage a large, diverse and geographically spread work program across multiple agencies, the project leadership team had a special focus on maintaining regular and open communication and networking activities to build a more cohesive and collaborative banana research and development network. To achieve this the project undertook specific networking and team building activities to improve networking and collaboration between Australian banana research and development providers. The project has been responsible for safely importing 23 new banana varieties into Australia, screening 44 varieties for TR4 resistance, 7 varieties for Race 1 resistance and 32 varieties for their agronomic performance. The project identified 14 varieties with adequate TR4 resistance and 1 Lady Finger hybrid with resistance to Race 1. The 3 Cavendish lines and the resistant Lady Finger hybrid have been progressed to field trials on commercial farms to assess their potential. New IPDM practices for management of pest nematodes, pest mites, leaf spot, bunch pests and bacterial corm rot have been developed, with demonstration of some practices now under way with commercial banana producers. Updates and results from project activities has been regularly provided to the banana industry through written articles in the Australian Bananas magazine, at industry extension activities and on-line at the Better Bananas website - www.betterbananas.com.au .

Item Type:Monograph (Project Report)
Corporate Creators:Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland
Business groups:Horticulture and Forestry Science
Keywords:Final report Banana; IPDM; disease resistance screening; agronomic assessment; germplasm; yellow Sigatoka; bunch pests; nematodes; viruses; scientific networking
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:05 Oct 2023 00:32
Last Modified:05 Oct 2023 00:32

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