Study in Pechay Essay

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Banana (Musaspp.) is the fourth most important global food commodity after rice, wheat and maize in terms of gross value production. At present, it is grown in more than 120 countries throughout tropical and subtropical regions and it is the staple food for more than400 million people (Molina and Valmayor, 1999). Among the production constraints, Fusarium wilt caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense(Foc) is the most devastating disease affecting commercial and subsistence of banana production through out the banana producing areas of the world (Ploetz, 2005). The disease is ranked as one of the top 6 important plant diseases in the world (Ploetz & Pegg, 1997). In terms of crop destruction, it ranks with the
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Generally, infectedplants produce no bunches and if produced, the fruits are very small and only few fingersdevelop. Fruits ripen irregularly and the flesh is pithy and acidic. The fungus survives insoilfor up to 30 years as chlamydospores in infested plant material or in the roots of alternativehosts (Ploetz, 2000).
Since the discovery of Fusarium wilt of banana, though various control strategies like soilfumigation (Herbert and Marx, 1990); fungicides(Lakshmanan et al., 1987); crop rotation (Hwang, 1985; Su et al., 1986), flood –fallowing (Wardlaw, 1961; Stover, 1962) and organic amendments (Stover, 1962) have been evolved and attempted, yet, the disease could not be controlled effectively except by planting of resistant cultivars (Moore et al., 1999). Planting of resistant varieties also cannot be implemented because of consumer preference (Viljoen, 2002). Under these circumstances, use of antagonistic microbes which protect and promote plant growth by colonizing and multiplying in both rhizosphere and plant system could be a potential alternative approach for the management of Fusarium wilt of banana.
Besides, biological control of Fusarium wiltdisease has become an increasingly popular disease management consideration because of its environmental friendly nature which offers a potential alternative to the use of resistant banana

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