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Ongoing project

Banana industry diagnostic capacity and capability building (BA21001)

Key research provider: The University of Queensland

What's it all about?

This investment is improving and maintaining the banana industry’s diagnostic capacity to accurately detect pathogens and reduce the risk of incursions from exotic banana diseases. This is essential for containing and/or eradicating emerging and endemic banana diseases.

This work will provide detailed insight into exotic disease threats to the Australian banana industry and will contribute to increasing the awareness of the importance of exotic diseases to a wider range of stakeholders by working closely with the industry’s communication and extension programs.


This investment has achieved significant progress in banana disease diagnostics and management. They drafted a manuscript on diagnostic methods for fusarium wilt in bananas and wrote a book chapter on its management. Ongoing research aims to accurately distinguish fusarium wilt TR4 from subtropical race 4 (STR4).

The team developed and validated a national diagnostic protocol for Moko disease in bananas, submitted to the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network. They also established a collaboration with the University Putra Malaysia to study Eumusae leaf spot, Black Sigatoka, Blood disease, and Moko.

Various diagnostics were performed to detect phytoplasmas in bananas, with the need for further refinement. A forthcoming chapter reviews banana phytoplasmas, highlighting knowledge gaps. High-throughput sequencing methods for virus detection in bananas was evaluated, considering the diversity of viruses.

Findings were shared in an article published in the Australian Bananas Magazine, focusing on Freckle disease.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Banana Fund