"Bunchy Top" of Bananas in the Tweed River District

  • Authors : Darnell-Smith, G.P.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 1919

  • Journal title : Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales

  • Pages : 809-814

  • Peer-reviewed : No

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : In accordance with a request from the Fruitgrowers' Association, I lately visited the Tweed River district, in company with Mr. Hopkins, to investigate the disease known as " Bunchy Top" in bananas. The plantations of a number of growers were visited and inspected, and I have to thank these gentlemen for help and hospitality, and especially to mention Mr. Stewart, Secretary of the Fruitgrowers' Association, who rendered much help. Numerous banana plants were dug up and examined, specimens were examined macroscopically and microscopically on the spot, and numerous specimens were preserved for further examination in the laboratory. A detailed examination of these latter, subsequently made by Mr. C. 0. Hamblin, B.Sc., B.Sc. Agr., Assistant Biologist, by means of several series of microscopical sections, failed to reveal either fungus or bacterial disease as the cause of Bunchy Top. In many diseased plants numerous eelworms (two species) were found in the roots, but in many diseased plants the eelworms were not present in great numbers, and in some apparently healthy plants eelworms were present. There is no evidence that eelworms exude a toxin hurtful to the whole plant, and in many cases they did not appear to be present in sufficient numbers to cause a disease. A review of the whole situation, after examining all the material at my disposal, leads me to the conclusion that Bunchy Top is not due to a fungus, to bacteria, or to eelworms. There remains the alternative conclusion that it is due to some physiological condition, to some unhealthy state of the plant brought about by adverse conditions of soil or climate, or by a "running out" of the stock.


  • Open access : Yes

  • PDF : open

  • Musalit document ID : IN160074

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