Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: March 19, 2011
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Citation: Irish, B.M., Chavarria-Carvajal, J., Ploetz, R., Goenaga, R.J. 2011. Evaluation of Musa spp. hybrids for resistance to black Sigatoka, caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis Morelet. Phytopathology. 101(6):S277 (Supplement). Technical Abstract: In Puerto Rico, bananas and plantains are important agricultural commodities; their combined production totaled 133,500 tons in 2008. Black and yellow Sigatoka leaf spot diseases, caused by Mycosphaerella fijiensis and M. musicola respectively, are responsible for significant losses of these crops in Puerto Rico, due to the high susceptibility of the most important cultivars. Consequently, new clones were introduced from Bioverstiy’s Musa International Transit Center in Leuven, Belgium. Clones were evaluated in the field over two crop cycles (2007-2010) for their responses to these diseases, as well as their agronomic and organoleptic traits. Clear differences in resistance were found among the clones. On a 0-6 scale (0 = no disease; 6 = >50% leaf area with lesions), mean disease severities at harvest ranged from 5.8 for the susceptible control ‘Grand Naine’ to 1.2 for FHIA-18. Wide ranges were also observed in mean bunch weights (7.57 to 45.1 kg), numbers of hands (6.5 to 14.8), and numbers of fruit (57.0 to 263.7). Several clones, mainly from the Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA), possessed excellent resistance and agronomic traits (e.g. short pseudostems, large bunches and satisfactory organoleptic profiles) and could potentially replace susceptible cultivars in commercial production or play roles in a nascent organic market.