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CTA. 1992. Disease-free plantains. Spore 41. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/45829
Developing plantains resistant to the fungal disease, black sigatoka, is progressing faster than expected. Several cultivars have been successfully crossed with the wild banana which is highly resistant to the disease to produce resistant hybrids....
Developing plantains resistant to the fungal disease, black sigatoka, is progressing faster than expected. Several cultivars have been successfully crossed with the wild banana which is highly resistant to the disease to produce resistant hybrids. Black sigatoka disease was accidentally introduced into Africa 15 years ago. It can cause yield losses of between 30 and 50%. Since its arrival the disease has spread rapidly and now threatens the food security of over 80 million people. Fungicides can control the disease, but the long term answer lies in breeding for resistance. In 1987 the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in Nigeria, launched a breeding programme. At their Onne substation scientists are now assessing the new hybrids.. So far they show good resistance with no drop in yield.Some of the fruit, though, contains seed which is unpleasant if the fruit is to be eaten. Further breeding will be needed to produce resistant varieties with seedless fruit. Nonetheless the hybrids are being assessed for fruit quality and consumer acceptability. Multiplication is being speeded up by using tissue culture techniques, so that more planting material of the new hybrids will be available for onfarm testing. Scientists at Onne have also found that some cultivars of the cooking banana are resistant to black sigatoka. The cooking bananas belong to a different sister group from the plantains. The resistant cooking bananas are being offered as an alternative to plantain but as the taste and cooking quality are different, they may not be readily accepted. In Uganda and other parts of East Africa the local cooking bananas are different again. Farmers there will be offered resistant varieties from Nigeria but, for the long term, another breeding programme is to begin soon in Uganda. A substation is to be set up and a breeding programme using the wild banana will be established. The aim will be to develop a cooking banana that is both resistant to black sigatoka and acceptable to consumers. IITA, PMB 5320 Ibadan, NIGERIA