Frequently Asked Question

What is BXW

BXW stands for the Banana Xanthomonas Wilt and describes a disease of Banana popularly known as Xanthomonas Wilt (BXW), or banana bacterial wilt (BBW) or enset wilt is a bacterial disease caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv.musacearum. After being originally identified on a close relative of banana, Ensete ventricosum, in Ethiopia in the 1960s, BXW emanated in Uganda in 2001 affecting all types of banana cultivars. Since then BXW has been diagnosed in Central and East Africa including banana growing regions of: Rwanda,Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, and Uganda

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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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