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Identification of predisposing factors to Fusarium wilt of banana and management alternatives

Grant number: 18/22357-1
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2019 - March 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Miguel Angel Dita Rodríguez
Grantee:Miguel Angel Dita Rodríguez
Home Institution: Embrapa Meio-Ambiente. Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA). Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento (Brasil). Jaguariúna , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Geraldo Stachetti Rodrigues ; Jeanne Scardini Marinho Prado ; Luiz Antonio Junqueira Teixeira ; Poliana Fernanda Giachetto

Abstract

It is estimated that banana farming employs more than 300,000 workers directly or indirectly in the state of São Paulo. Among the factors that limit banana production in the state is the Fusarium wilt (FW), also known as Panama disease. The disease, caused by the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense (Foc), is considered the most destructive of this crop and causes serious losses in the main producing regions of the state, either reducing productivity or precluding new plantations. In São Paulo, the largest producer in Brazil, FW continues to increase with losses of up to 100% in the case of the highly susceptible Silk (Maçã) variety. Many producers have replaced the varieties Prata and Silk (susceptible) with resistant clones of the Cavendish (Nanica) subgroup, but losses in these clones have also occurred mainly in subtropical conditions in the Ribeira Valley. In addition, Cavendish clones are highly susceptible to tropical race 4, which although not yet present in Brazil, continues to spread throughout the world. Management of FW is difficult and complex. This complexity is increased by the perennial cultivation of the banana and the long survival period of Foc in the soil. One option to increase success in FW management is a better understanding of the role of predisposing factors and to reduce their impact. Several biotic factors (weevils, soil and plant microbiome, parasitic nematodes, etc.) and abiotic factors (soil acidity, nitrogen sources, nutrient availability, physical attributes, among others) may be associated to FW intensity. Management strategies that minimize the effects of these factors could reduce FW losses and increase banana productivity. However, determining the levels of involvement and interaction of these factors, and identifying alternatives to minimize them, require targeted and in depth studies. In the present proposal the relation of biotic and abiotic factors, as well as their interactions with the intensity of the FW will be studied in both field and greenhouse conditions. Additionally, FW management alternatives oriented to plant health through soil health, as well as to the reduction of the impact of predisposition factors will be studied. Finally, a multicriteria system of indicators will be developed to assess the impacts and adoption of Good Management Practices for FW management. It is expected that at the end of this project solid information to reduce losses caused by FW and increase banana productivity will be available. (AU)