Panama disease

soil fungus outbreak
Panama disease (or Fusarium wilt) is a plant disease that infects banana plants (Musa spp.).wikipedia
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Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense

Tropical race 4F. oxysporum'' f. sp. ''cubenseFusarium oxysporum'' f. sp. ''cubense
It is a wilting disease caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc).
Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense is a fungal plant pathogen that causes Panama disease of banana (Musa spp.), also known as fusarium wilt of banana.

Cavendish banana

Cavendishbananasbanana
Currently, a new outbreak of Panama disease caused by the strain Tropical Race 4 (TR4) threatens the production of today's most popular cultivars, Cavendish.
Since the 1950s, these cultivars have been the most internationally traded bananas, replacing the Gros Michel banana (commonly known as 'Kampala banana' in Kenya and 'Bogoya' in Uganda), after crops of the latter were devastated by Panama disease.

Banana

bananasbanana treebanana flower
Panama disease (or Fusarium wilt) is a plant disease that infects banana plants (Musa spp.).
The cultivars Dwarf Cavendish and Grand Nain (Chiquita Banana) gained popularity in the 1950s after the previous mass-produced cultivar, Gros Michel (also an AAA group cultivar), became commercially unviable due to Panama disease, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum which attacks the roots of the banana plant.

Gros Michel banana

Gros Michel
During the 1950s, a first outbreak of Panama disease almost wiped out the commercial Gros Michel banana production.
This variety was once the dominant export banana to Europe and North America, grown in Central America, but in the 1950s, Panama disease, a wilt caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense, wiped out vast tracts of Gros Michel plantations in Central America, though it is still grown on non-infected land throughout the region.

Yes! We Have No Bananas

songYes We Have No Bananas
The resulting worldwide collapse in the banana trade is said to have inspired the song Yes! We Have No Bananas.
Silver may have been influenced by an actual shortage of Gros Michel bananas in the early 20th century, caused by Panama disease.

Tully, Queensland

TullyTully State High QSSRLTully Tigers
In Queensland, a farm in Tully, 1500 km north of Brisbane, was quarantined and some plants were destroyed after TR4 was detected on March 3, 2015.
In March 2015, a farm at Tully tested positive for the soil-borne Panama disease.

Plant pathology

plant pathogenplant pathologistplant pathogens
Panama disease (or Fusarium wilt) is a plant disease that infects banana plants (Musa spp.).

Fungicide

fungicidesantifungalfungicidal
The pathogen is resistant to fungicides and until now, its control is limited to phytosanitary measures.

Cultivar

cultivarsvarietycultivated variety
The Gros Michel banana was the dominant cultivar of bananas, and Fusarium wilt inflicted enormous costs and forced producers to switch to other, disease-resistant cultivars.

Asexual reproduction

asexualasexuallyreproduce asexually
Modern commercially farmed banana plants are reproduced asexually, by replanting the plant's basal shoot that grows after the original plant has been cut down.

Pollen

exinepollen grainmicrosporogenesis
Them being triploid, the fruit contains no seeds, and the male flower does not produce pollen suitable for pollination, prohibiting sexual reproduction.

Banana plantation

banana plantationsbananabanana farming
Gros Michel was the only type of banana eaten in the United States from the late 19th century until after World War II. From the beginning, however, a serious disease was present in the banana plantations of Central America.

Central America

CentralCentral AmericanCentral-
Gros Michel was the only type of banana eaten in the United States from the late 19th century until after World War II. From the beginning, however, a serious disease was present in the banana plantations of Central America.

Panama

🇵🇦PanamáPAN
The problem was first diagnosed in Panama after which it was named.

Costa Rica

🇨🇷Costa RicanCRI
Over several decades, the fungus spread from Panama to neighboring countries, moving north through Costa Rica to Guatemala and south into Colombia and Ecuador.

Guatemala

🇬🇹GuatemalanRepublic of Guatemala
Over several decades, the fungus spread from Panama to neighboring countries, moving north through Costa Rica to Guatemala and south into Colombia and Ecuador.

Colombia

🇨🇴COLColombian
Over several decades, the fungus spread from Panama to neighboring countries, moving north through Costa Rica to Guatemala and south into Colombia and Ecuador.

Ecuador

🇪🇨ECUEcuadorian
Over several decades, the fungus spread from Panama to neighboring countries, moving north through Costa Rica to Guatemala and south into Colombia and Ecuador.

Malaysia

🇲🇾MalaysianMalaya
Shortly thereafter, Malaysia entered the banana-growing business.

Rainforest

rain forestrainforestsemergent
Thousands of acres of rain forests and former palm oil plantations were shifted to banana production.

Palm oil

palmoilpalm-oil
Thousands of acres of rain forests and former palm oil plantations were shifted to banana production.

Immunity (medical)

immunityimmuneimmune response
They found it to be Panama disease, although the Cavendish was then thought to be immune, but was immune only to the strain of the fungus that destroyed the Gros Michel.

West Africa

Westwestern AfricaWestern
To date, it has not reached West Africa or Latin America, but except for quarantine and exclusion, no barrier to its spread have been identified.

Latin America

Latin AmericanLatinLatin-American
To date, it has not reached West Africa or Latin America, but except for quarantine and exclusion, no barrier to its spread have been identified.

Bacteria

bacteriumbacterialeubacteria
Scientists are trying to modify the banana plant to make it resist Panama disease and many other serious banana afflictions ranging from fungal, bacterial, and viral infections to nematodes and beetles.