Special Issue "Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana"

A special issue of Journal of Fungi (ISSN 2309-608X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Guy Blomme
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Interests: epidemiology; integrated disease control; risk assessment
Dr. George Mahuku
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Croydon Surrey, Tanzania
Interests: epidemiology; risk assessment; soil health; integrated disease management
Dr. Miguel Dita
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
Interests: diagnostics; epidemiology; integrated pest management; soil health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fusarium wilt of banana Tropical Race 4 (TR4) is currently ranked as the greatest threat to the banana sector worldwide. The recent outbreak in Colombia took the disease to the pandemic level. Finding integrated approaches for both subsistence small-holder farm settings and more commercially oriented production systems is key. Limiting the spread of TR4 requires more effective mobilization and collaboration among global, regional, national, and local agencies and platforms to strengthen plant quarantine, containment, and mitigation efforts. This Special Issue will provide a state-of-the-art overview of Fusarium wilt of banana research, with a special focus on Tropical Race 4. The papers will cover a diverse range of research themes, including diagnostics, surveillance tools, country responses, biosecurity, management strategies, and advances in the development of resistant varieties. This Special Issue will comprise research outputs from Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Dr. Guy Blomme
Dr. George Mahuku
Dr. Miguel Dita
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • banana
  • containment
  • Fusarium TR4
  • integrated control
  • molecular techniques
  • surveillance

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
Spent Pleurotus ostreatus Substrate Has Potential for Managing Fusarium Wilt of Banana
J. Fungi 2021, 7(11), 946; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7110946 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 282
Abstract
A range of basidiomycetes including the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (Po) can suppress plant pathogens such as Fusarium spp. With the current increase in production and consumption of Po in Uganda, the spent Po substrate (SPoS) could be an alternative to [...] Read more.
A range of basidiomycetes including the edible mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus (Po) can suppress plant pathogens such as Fusarium spp. With the current increase in production and consumption of Po in Uganda, the spent Po substrate (SPoS) could be an alternative to manage Fusarium wilt of banana (FWB), caused by the soil borne pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, race 1 (Foc). This study determined the potential of SPoS to inhibit Foc in vitro and in potted plants. In vitro studies confirmed suppression of Foc in pure co-culture (Po vs. Foc) assays and media amended with different concentrations (0% to 50% w/v) of un-sterilized SPoS filtrates. Foc growth in the sterile SPoS filtrate was comparable to the water control, suggesting possible roles of biotic or thermolabile components of the SPoS. To further verify the suppressive effects of SPoS, pot experiments were carried out with a resistant (‘Mbwazirume’, AAA) and susceptible (‘Sukali Ndizi’, AAB) banana cultivar using both artificially and naturally infested soils. Independent of the inoculation method, SPoS significantly reduced the severity of FWB in pot experiments. Susceptible cultivar ‘Sukali Ndizi’ growing in substrates amended with SPoS showed lower (1.25) corm damage (Scale 0–5) than the un-amended control (3.75). No corm damage was observed in uninoculated controls. The resistant cultivar ‘Mbwazirume’, showed slight (0.25) corm damage only in the Foc-inoculated plants without SPoS. These findings suggest that SPoS could be used as part of the management practices to reduce the impact of FWB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
The Survival and Treatment of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense in Water
J. Fungi 2021, 7(10), 796; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7100796 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 579
Abstract
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp cubense (Foc), the causal agent of Fusarium wilt, is one of the most devastating constraints to banana production worldwide. The spread of Foc in water is particularly concerning, as infested water can rapidly contaminate disease-free areas. The objectives of [...] Read more.
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp cubense (Foc), the causal agent of Fusarium wilt, is one of the most devastating constraints to banana production worldwide. The spread of Foc in water is particularly concerning, as infested water can rapidly contaminate disease-free areas. The objectives of this study were to investigate the survival of Foc in water and to test the effectiveness of water treatment with chlorine, ozone, UV, and peracetic acid. The study indicated that Foc spores can survive in water for more than 120 days, but that viability was reduced in stagnant water, probably due to anaerobic conditions when spores settled at the bottom. It is therefore recommended that surface water be extracted and treated before it is used for irrigation. The efficacy of all water treatments was reduced in the presence of soil, implying that water needs to be soil-free before treatment. The use of peracetic acid is recommended to treat Foc-contaminated water, as it is safe for use and does not require installation costs although it is effective at treating Foc-contaminated water, ozone would require significant input costs and chlorine can produce harmful disinfection by-products. UV would be impractical for field application because of the high doses required to eliminate Foc. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Biological Control of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 Using Natively Isolated Bacillus spp. YN0904 and YN1419
J. Fungi 2021, 7(10), 795; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7100795 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 805
Abstract
Fusarium wilt of banana (FWB) is the main threatening factor for banana production worldwide. To explore bacterial biocontrol resources for FWB, the antagonistic effective strains were isolated from banana-producing areas in Yunnan Province, China. Two isolates (YN0904 and YN1419) displaying strong antagonism against [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt of banana (FWB) is the main threatening factor for banana production worldwide. To explore bacterial biocontrol resources for FWB, the antagonistic effective strains were isolated from banana-producing areas in Yunnan Province, China. Two isolates (YN0904 and YN1419) displaying strong antagonism against Tropical Race 4 (TR4) were identified from a total of 813 strains of endophytic bacteria. TR4 inhibition rates of YN0904 and YN1419 were 79.6% and 81.3%, respectively. By looking at morphological, molecular, physiological and biochemical characteristics, YN0904 was identified as Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, while YN1419 was identified as B. subtillis. The control effects of YN0904 and YN1419 on TR4 in greenhouse experiments were 82.6% and 85.6%, respectively. Furthermore, YN0904 obviously promoted the growth of banana plantlets. In addition, biocontrol marker genes related to the biosynthesis of antibiotics synthesized and auxin key synthetase genes could be detected in YN0904. Surprisingly, the marker gene sboA could be exclusively detected in YN1419, while other marker genes were all absent. Molecular characterization results could provide a theoretical basis for expounding the biocontrol mechanisms of these two strains. We concluded that natively antagonistic strains derived from local banana plantations could provide new biological control resources for FWB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Comparative Whole-Genome Sequence Analyses of Fusarium Wilt Pathogen (Foc R1, STR4 and TR4) Infecting Cavendish (AAA) Bananas in India, with a Special Emphasis on Pathogenicity Mechanisms
J. Fungi 2021, 7(9), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7090717 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 661
Abstract
Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) and is the most serious disease affecting bananas (Musa spp.). The fungus is classified into Foc race 1 (R1), Foc race 2, and Foc race 4 based [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt is caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) and is the most serious disease affecting bananas (Musa spp.). The fungus is classified into Foc race 1 (R1), Foc race 2, and Foc race 4 based on host specificity. As the rate of spread and the ranges of the devastation of the Foc races exceed the centre of the banana’s origin, even in non-targeted cultivars, there is a possibility of variation in virulence-associated genes. Therefore, the present study investigates the genome assembly of Foc races that infect the Cavendish (AAA) banana group in India, specifically those of the vegetative compatibility group (VCG) 0124 (race 1), 0120 (subtropical race 4), and 01213/16 (tropical race 4). While comparing the general features of the genome sequences (e.g., RNAs, GO, SNPs, and InDels), the study also looked at transposable elements, phylogenetic relationships, and virulence-associated effector genes, and sought insights into race-specific molecular mechanisms of infection based on the presence of unique genes. The results of the analyses revealed variations in the organisation of genome assembly and virulence-associated genes, specifically secreted in xylem (SIX) genes, when compared to their respective reference genomes. The findings contributed to a better understanding of Indian Foc genomes, which will aid in the development of effective Fusarium wilt management techniques for various Foc VCGs in India and beyond. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Banana Cultivar Field Screening for Resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 in the Northern Territory
J. Fungi 2021, 7(8), 627; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7080627 - 01 Aug 2021
Viewed by 754
Abstract
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, causal agent of Panama disease, is one of the biggest threats to global banana production, particularly the Cavendish competent tropical race 4 (Foc TR4). It continues to spread globally with detections occurring in regions of the Middle [...] Read more.
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, causal agent of Panama disease, is one of the biggest threats to global banana production, particularly the Cavendish competent tropical race 4 (Foc TR4). It continues to spread globally with detections occurring in regions of the Middle East and new continents such as Africa and South America in the last decade. As the search was on for new management strategies and resistant cultivars to combat the disease, a banana cultivar-screening trial took place in the Northern Territory of Australia, which examined the responses of 24 banana cultivars to the soil borne fungus. These cultivars included material from TBRI, FHIA and selections from Thailand, Indonesia and Australia and evaluated for their resistance to tropical race 4 for two cropping cycles. Several cultivars displayed considerable resistance to Foc TR4, including several FHIA parental lines and hybrids, the Cavendish (AAA) selections GCTCV 215 and GCTCV 247 from TBRI and an Indonesian selection CJ19 showed either very little to no plant death due to the disease. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
A Real-Time Fluorescent Reverse Transcription Quantitative PCR Assay for Rapid Detection of Genetic Markers’ Expression Associated with Fusarium Wilt of Banana Biocontrol Activities in Bacillus
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050353 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1197
Abstract
Fusarium wilt of banana, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), especially Tropical Race 4 (TR4), seriously threatens banana production worldwide. There is no single effective control measure, although certain Bacillus strains secrete antibiotics as promising disease-biocontrol agents. This study [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt of banana, caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), especially Tropical Race 4 (TR4), seriously threatens banana production worldwide. There is no single effective control measure, although certain Bacillus strains secrete antibiotics as promising disease-biocontrol agents. This study identified five Bacillus strains displaying strong antibiotic activity against TR4, using a systemic assessment for presence/absence of genetic markers at genome level, and expression profiles at transcriptome level. A conventional PCR with 13 specific primer pairs detected biocontrol-related genes. An accurate, quantitative real-time PCR protocol with novel designed specific primers was developed to characterise strain-specific gene expression, that optimises strain-culturing and RNA-isolation methodologies. Six genes responsible for synthesising non-ribosomal peptide synthetase biocontrol metabolites were detected in all five strains. Three genes were involved in synthesising three Polyketide synthetase metabolites in all five strains, but the macrolactin synthase gene mln was only detected in WBN06 and YN1282-2. All five Bacillus strains have the genes dhb and bioA, essential for synthesising bacillibactin and biotin. However, the gene sboA, involved in subtilisin synthesis, is absent in all five strains. These genes’ expression patterns were significantly different among these strains, suggesting different mechanisms involved in TR4 biocontrol. Results will help elucidate functional genes’ biocontrol mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Weevil Borers Affect the Spatio-Temporal Dynamics of Banana Fusarium Wilt
J. Fungi 2021, 7(5), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7050329 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 785
Abstract
Dispersal of propagules of a pathogen has remarkable effects on the development of epidemics. Previous studies suggested that insect pests play a role in the development of Fusarium wilt (FW) epidemics in banana fields. We provided complementary evidence for the involvement of two [...] Read more.
Dispersal of propagules of a pathogen has remarkable effects on the development of epidemics. Previous studies suggested that insect pests play a role in the development of Fusarium wilt (FW) epidemics in banana fields. We provided complementary evidence for the involvement of two insect pests of banana, the weevil borer (Cosmopolites sordidus L., WB) and the false weevil borer (Metamasius hemipterus L., FWB), in the dispersal of Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) using a comparative epidemiology approach under field conditions. Two banana plots located in a field with historical records of FW epidemics were used; one was managed with Beauveria bassiana to reduce the population of weevils, and the other was left without B. bassiana applications. The number of WB and FWB was monitored biweekly and the FW incidence was quantified bimonthly during two years. The population of WB and the incidence (6.7%) of FW in the plot managed with B. bassiana were lower than in the plot left unmanaged (13%). The monomolecular model best fitted the FW disease progress data, and as expected, the average estimated disease progress rate was lower in the plot managed with the entomopathogenic fungus (r = 0.002) compared to the unmanaged plot (r = 0.006). Aggregation of FW was higher in the field with WB management. WB affected the spatial and temporal dynamics of FW epidemics under field conditions. Management of the insects may reduce yield loss due to FW. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Efficacy of Disinfectants against Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense Tropical Race 4 Isolated from La Guajira, Colombia
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040297 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1382
Abstract
Banana, the main export fruit for Colombia, is threatened by Fusarium wilt (FWB), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), tropical race 4 (TR4). Pathogen containment through disinfecting tools, machinery, shoes, and any means that may carry contaminated soil particles [...] Read more.
Banana, the main export fruit for Colombia, is threatened by Fusarium wilt (FWB), caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), tropical race 4 (TR4). Pathogen containment through disinfecting tools, machinery, shoes, and any means that may carry contaminated soil particles with proper disinfectants is at the forefront of disease management. In this study, the biocide efficacy of 10 commercial quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) products and one based on glutaraldehyde (GA) were evaluated on both reproductive structures (microconidia and macroconidia) and survival spores (chlamydospores) of Foc TR4 (strain 140038) isolated from La Guajira, Colombia. QACs were evaluated at 1200 ppm and two exposure times: <1 and 15 min in the absence or presence of soil. For GA disinfectant, four different concentrations (500, 800, 1200, and 2000 ppm) were evaluated at both contact times in the presence of soil. In the absence of soil, all QACs showed 100% biocidal efficiency against microconidia, macroconidia, and chlamydospores at both <1 and 15 min. The presence of soil decreased the efficacy of disinfectants, but some of them, such as QAC3_1st, QAC7_4th, and QAC5_4th, showed 98%, 98%, and 100% efficacy against Foc TR4 chlamydospores, respectively, after <1 min of contact time. For instance, the GA-based disinfectant was able to eliminate all Foc TR4 propagules after 15 min for all concentrations tested. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
A Medium-Term Field Experiment to Study the Effect of Managing Soil Chemical Properties on Fusarium Wilt in Banana (Musa AAA)
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 261; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040261 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) is a soil-borne fungus causing Fusarium wilt (FW) in banana. It is practically impossible to eradicate Foc in soils. Our understanding of soil–Foc–banana interactions is hampered by inconsistent research results caused by agro-ecological variability and the complexity [...] Read more.
Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc) is a soil-borne fungus causing Fusarium wilt (FW) in banana. It is practically impossible to eradicate Foc in soils. Our understanding of soil–Foc–banana interactions is hampered by inconsistent research results caused by agro-ecological variability and the complexity of the soil system. This study aimed to evaluate the options to manage soil chemical properties to reduce disease expression and maintain banana production. The expression of FW (Foc Race 1) and the agronomic performance of the Gros Michel (Musa AAA) banana were evaluated in two medium-term factorial field experiments at representative locations in the Costa Rican banana region. In the experiments, five soil chemical properties (pH, N, Ca, Mg, and Mn) were managed to achieve a low and a high level. Plant mortality caused by FW, soil fertility, plant nutrition, and agronomic performance were monitored during four crop cycles. After the first crop cycle, the treatments started to present differences in plant mortality. There was a significant rise of plant mortality after the second crop cycle resulting in a cumulative plant mortality exceeding 60% in both experiments. A lower soil pH consistently resulted in significantly higher plant mortality. The interactions between soil properties (pH-N, pH-CaMg, pH-Mn, N-Mn, and CaMg-Mn) also influenced plant mortality. Soil N was the most significant treatment affecting leaf nutrient concentrations, bunch weight, and clusters per bunch. The experiments confirmed the potential role of soil management in FW expression in banana. Our results suggest that the management of soil chemical properties in the conditions here studied may help to reduce the expression rate of FW, but not to control the disease in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Article
Effect of in Planta Treatment of ‘Cavendish’ Banana with Herbicides and Fungicides on the Colonisation and Sporulation by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense Subtropical Race 4
J. Fungi 2021, 7(3), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7030184 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 739
Abstract
Fusarium wilt caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc) is a significant constraint to banana production worldwide, with the recent expansion of banana growing regions impacted by Foc Tropical Race 4 (TR4). The lack of commercially acceptable Cavendish [...] Read more.
Fusarium wilt caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc) is a significant constraint to banana production worldwide, with the recent expansion of banana growing regions impacted by Foc Tropical Race 4 (TR4). The lack of commercially acceptable Cavendish cultivars with Foc resistance means the only current means of effective control is through strict quarantine and inoculum management. One method of control that is currently advocated includes the removal of infected plants which have been killed using herbicide injections. The aim of this work was to examine the effect of herbicide and fungicide treatments on sporulation of the fungus. In glasshouse studies using a green fluorescent transformed Foc Subtropical Race 4 isolate, we found treatments with herbicide hastened colonisation of the banana tissue and the production of micro- and macroconidia. The use of a fungicide did not prevent sporulation of the fungus in such tissue. This study demonstrates that herbicide treated plants are a source of potential inoculum for infection of nearby plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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Review

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Review
Improvements in the Resistance of the Banana Species to Fusarium Wilt: A Systematic Review of Methods and Perspectives
J. Fungi 2021, 7(4), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof7040249 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1427
Abstract
The fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (FOC), tropical race 4 (TR4), causes Fusarium wilt of banana, a pandemic that has threatened the cultivation and export trade of this fruit. This article presents the first systematic review of studies conducted in the last [...] Read more.
The fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (FOC), tropical race 4 (TR4), causes Fusarium wilt of banana, a pandemic that has threatened the cultivation and export trade of this fruit. This article presents the first systematic review of studies conducted in the last 10 years on the resistance of Musa spp. to Fusarium wilt. We evaluated articles deposited in different academic databases, using a standardized search string and predefined inclusion and exclusion criteria. We note that the information on the sequencing of the Musa sp. genome is certainly a source for obtaining resistant cultivars, mainly by evaluating the banana transcriptome data after infection with FOC. We also showed that there are sources of resistance to FOC race 1 (R1) and FOC TR4 in banana germplasms and that these data are the basis for obtaining resistant cultivars, although the published data are still scarce. In contrast, the transgenics approach has been adopted frequently. We propose harmonizing methods and protocols to facilitate the comparison of information obtained in different research centers and efforts based on global cooperation to cope with the disease. Thus, we offer here a contribution that may facilitate and direct research towards the production of banana resistant to FOC. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards the Integrated Management of Fusarium Wilt of Banana)
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