First report of banana fruit rot in Jordan

The banana is an important commercial fruit tree widely cultivated in the Jordan Valley, which is one of the main banana production areas in Jordan.

"Banana fruit rot caused by Fusarium verticilloides is one of the most damaging postharvest diseases of banana and during the months of June and July of 2018 and 2019, dark brown spots of various sizes were observed on the epidermis of bananas harvested from plantations in the Jordan Valley - say the scientists at the University of Jordan - The spots were brown to dark brown with lacunae at the center and typically surrounded by light brown halos. Larger spots had cracks inside which exposed the pulp. Whitish fungal colonies were also frequently observed on these spots. In the early stages of decay, virtually no damage was observed on the fruit pulp. Cut surfaces of crowns and pedicels sometimes were also blackened and often covered with whitish mycelia. With disease progression, the spots became covered by whitish fungal colonies that nearly covered the entire fruit. At this stage, the fruit pulp also showed extensive decay. The disease affects about 80% of banana fruits in the harvest period and during first three weeks after the post-harvest period in natural conditions".

Symptoms of Fusarium fruit rot in Jordanian banana

The same scientists have collected symptomatic fruits, isolated the fungal pathogen and identified it as Fusarium verticillioides based on morphological characteristics, then also molecular analysis and the Koch's postulates confirmed F. verticillioides as the causal of the Jordanian banana fruit rot.  "To our knowledge, this is the first report of F. verticillioides as causal agent of fruit rot on banana in Jordan. This pathogen is known as a major pathogen of maize and as a producer of fumonisin mycotoxins - say the scientists - Our results will contribute to future studies on the spread and impact of this fungus which may pose a serious threat to bananas as well as on other plants in Jordan".

Source: Nidà Mohammed Salem, Ahmad M. Almomany, Monther M. Tahat, Hussen Aldakil, 'First Report of Fusarium verticilloides causing Banana Fruit Rot in Jordan', July 2020, Plant Disease.


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