Tropical race 4 Panama disease: new varieties and quarantine help solve Panama riddle

  • Authors : Walduck, G.

  • Document type : Journal article

  • Year of publication : 2002

  • Journal title : Australian Bananas

  • Number : 15

  • Pages : 16-17

  • Peer-reviewed : No

  • Language(s) : English

  • Abstract : The Tropical Race 4 of Panama Disease (FOCTR4) is a soil borne disease, which attacks and kills a wide range of bananas including 'Cavendish' and 'Ladyfinger' types. The disease has no known chemical or cultural control and will remain active in the soil for more than 30 years. FOCTR4 was first discovered in Australia in 1997 when a well-established and extensive infection was identified in a commercial planting at Berry Springs near Darwin. The area was fenced and quarantined and the bananas were eradicated in an attempt to prevent any further spread. Quarantine measures were enacted prohibiting the movement of soil and banana material into the Lambell's Lagoon banana growing areas. In late 1998, a single site with early symptoms was identified on a commercial property at Lambell's Lagoon. In 1999 a technical working group was set up to assess what action was needed. A research project was commenced in 2000 to find and develop resistant banana varieties and develop workable containment and management systems for the disease. The plant crop cycle of testing is just completed and four selections out of the 12 have proved resistant at this stage. This will need to be confirmed in the next ratoon cycle before any conclusions can be drawn. A second set of selections have been introduced for testing and are currently established in the quarantine site. We expect some preliminary results from these in 9-10 months. Further potentially resistant varieties are being sourced from overseas banana areas.


  • Open access : Yes

  • PDF : open

  • Musalit document ID : IN030344

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