A study by the National University established that there are bacteria which could control the Black Sigatoka, the most destructive pest for banana and plantain crops. The evaluated bacteria have the ability to produce bioactive substances that inhibit the growth of the Pseudocercospora fijiensis fungus, both in vitro and in vivo.
The Sigatoka can reduce the weight of a bunch of bananas by up to 50% and cause losses of up to 100% of the production due to the deterioration of their quality, generating high economic costs.
It is worth noting that five bacteria with inhibitory capacity against three strains of P. fijiensis with different levels of sensitivity in vitro with commercial fungicides were selected in the study. The five bacterial extracts were tested on detached banana leaves to evaluate their phytotoxicity, and showed percentages of affected area that were lower than 3%. This, according to the UN News Agency.
According to Natalia Arbelaez, an MA in Agricultural Sciences from the National University of Colombia (UN), "biological control emerges as an alternative to counteract the use of chemical fungicides, which generate resistant strains, high control costs, and environmental problems. Some substances produced by biocontrol microorganisms have shown that they are effective in combating diseases in plants."
Source: agronegocios.co / UN News Agency