This disease usually occurs in plantations planted on cleared forestland. It is caused by a fungus ArmiIIaria sp.which also survives on some tree species.

It persists in stumps and roots of cleared trees, and later invades planted bananas through corms and roots.Aerially, its symptoms resemble those of barium wilt (yellowing and death of bananaleaves).

Examination of the corm however reveals white strands of a fungus.Sometimes toadstool-like threads appear at the base of the plant.

The spread of this disease can be reduced by uprooting and burning infected  plants, and planting
replacement a few metres from the infected site.


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The vast majority of the bananas currently grown and consumed were not conventionally bred but are selections made over probably thousands of years from naturally occurring hybrids. Cultivated bananas are very nearly sterile and as a consequence are not propagated from seed but rather through vegetative propagation, primarily suckers as well as more recently micropropagated or tissue cultured bananas. These factors, very old selections, near sterility and vegetative propagation, mean that these bananas have not been genetically improved either for resistance or improved quality and are becoming increasing in affected by serious pests and diseases.

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