A banana variety which is resistant to “Wilt Disease”

  • The National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) at Podhavur near here will work on developing a banana variety which is resistant to wilt disease. The NRCB is part of four major institutes across the country working on the project and this batch, in turn, would work with 15 other countries in this regard.
  • The wilt disease called ‘Fusarium’ causes extensive damage to banana and it has been a global challenge to evolve a variety resistant to it. In many African countries, where banana is a staple food, the incidence of wilt means a major setback to food productivity.

About Wilt Disease:

  • A wilt disease is any number of diseases that affect the vascular system of plants.
  • Attacks by fungi, bacteria, and nematodes can cause rapid killing of plants, large tree branches or even entire trees.
  • Wilt diseases in woody plants tend to fall into two major categories, those that start with the branches and those that start with the roots.
  • Those that start with the branches most often start with pathogens that feed on the leaves or bark, those that start with the roots start with wounding or direct entry by the pathogen into the roots, some are spread from one plant to another by way of root grafts.
  • Pathogens that cause wilting diseases invade the vascular vessels and cause the xylem to fail to transport water to the foliage, thus causing wilting of stems and leaves.

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