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Completed project

Improved plant protection for the banana industry (BA16001) and Strengthening the banana industry diagnostic capacity (BA16005)

Key research provider: The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, in collaboration with several organisations
Publication date: Friday, June 3, 2022

What were they all about?

Running from late-2016 to 2022, these projects improved plant protection practices for the banana industry and enhanced the industry diagnostic capacity for emerging endemic and exotic plant pathogens.

Carrying on from the previous Banana Plant Protection Program, Improved plant protection for the banana industry (BA16001) continued to expand on plant protection practices. The project developed new integrated management practices through the assessment and screening of new disease-resistant varieties.

The project successfully imported 23 new banana varieties into Australia and screened 44 varieties for TR4 resistance, seven varieties for Race 1 resistance and 32 varieties for their agronomic performance. 14 varieties with adequate TR4 resistance and one lady finger hybrid with resistance to Race 1 were also identified and progressed to field trials on commercial farms to assess their potential.

The varietal screening trials were run in north Queensland, the Northern Territory and NSW to identify banana varieties with adequate fusarium wilt, TR4 and Race 1 resistance.

Softer chemical and biological control options were also explored for bunch pests, pest mites, leaf disease and nematodes. Field and glasshouse trials were undertaken to investigate these aspects to improve management practices and options for industry.

Working closely with BA16001, Strengthening the banana industry diagnostic capacity (BA16005) focused on improving industry’s ability to detect and identify emerging endemic and exotic plant pathogens.

Through the project activities, the understanding of the infection biology, transmission and epidemiology of several diseases including blood disease and wilts associated with phytoplasmas were enhanced.

Novel diagnostic assays for fusarium wilt, blood disease, moko, and banana streak virus were also developed and existing protocols for the Sigatoka leaf disease complex and Xanthomonas wilt were validated ensuring the industry has the most up to date information and diagnostic capacity.

Key activities and results from these investments were also communicated via the Australian Bananas magazine and the Better Bananas website maintained through the Banana industry communications program (BA18001).

Related levy funds

978-0-7341-4803-2 and 978-0-7341-4804-9

Funding statement:
These projects are strategic levy investments in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund

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