Banana Cigar end rot: Verticillium theobromae
- The pathogen affects even the immature fruits. The upper portion of the peduncle is exposed to the hot sun, when the bunch emergence occurs during summer months and due to reduced functional leaves reduced
- The infection, which occurs in perianth, spreads to fingers causing blackening of the skin, shrinkage and folding of the tissues.
- The affected tissues are corrugated and covered with conidiophores and powdery grey conidia resembling ash on a cigar end.
- Dry rot also occurs in the pulp and the affected tissues become dry and fibrous.
- Warm and moist conditions favour the disease occurrence and the disease spread is high in old and badly maintained plantations.
Identification of pathogen:
- Conidiophores are solitary or in small groups.
- Conidia are hyaline, oblong to cylindrical. They are borne at the ends of tapering phialides, aggregated into rounded, mucilaginous translucent heads.
- Young bunches should be opened up to the light and air and the bracts which remain attached to the bunch should be removed especially during wet weather
- The plantations should have enough aeration by avoiding overcrowding of plants
- Improved sanitation helps in the reduction of the disease
- By placing polyethene sleeves over the stems before hands emerge
- Removal of pistil and perianth by hand immediately after the fruits are formed.
- Pistils should be removed 8 to 11 days after bunch emergency.
- The bunches may be sprayed with Copper oxychloride 0.25 per cent solution along with a wetting agent @ 0.5 to 1.0 ml per litre of spray fluid
- Spraying of the peduncle with Carbendazim at 0.1% or Dithane M-45 at 0.1% after shoot emergence
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