The Black-head Disease of Bananas (Musa acuminata)

  • Authors : Loos, C.A.; Loos, S.B.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 1960

  • Journal title : Proceedings of the Helminthological Society of Washington

  • Volume (number) : 27 (2)

  • Pages : 189-193

  • Peer-reviewed : No

  • ISSN : 0018-0130

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : "Black-head disease" of bananas is caused by the burrowing nematode R. similis. Nematodes enter a rootlet and pass through it into the cortical tissues of the fleshy primary root where they form lesions up to 4 inches long, which may girdle the root. Lesions are brown to black with slightly sunken centers and longitudinal cracks. A root split centrally and longitudinally through the lesion shows that discoloration of the tissues is confined to the cortex; the central stele is unaffected. Edges of the lesion are pink-red while the center turns brown to black with age. Although the stele is not invaded by the nematode the breakdown of the cortex exposes it to infection with rot-causing organisms and the entire root beyond the lesioned area is killed. Root infection lies mainly in the vicinity of the plant bowl as infection usually originates from the "seed" rhizome. This results in shortened roots, a typical symptom of R. similis infection on bananas. The rhizome is infected via a root and the lesions are diffuse; patches up to 4 inches wide and occasionally 2½ inches deep. Nematodes, in all stages of development are present in the pink-red tissues; the blackened tissues contain bacteria and fungi.


  • Open access : Yes

  • Document on publisher's site : open View article on publisher's site

  • PDF : open

  • Musalit document ID : IN140086

Generate Citation