|Authors: ||T. Addis, L.F. Turyagyenda, T. Alemu, E. Karamura, G. Blomme|
|Keywords: ||garden tool infection, Xanthomonas wilt|
Xanthomonas wilt caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum has been an important constraint to enset (Ensete ventricosum) and banana (Musa spp.) in Ethiopia.
It was postulated that Xanthomonas wilt has a similar epidemiology as other banana bacterial wilts, which are known to be transmitted by insect vectors and garden tools.
A study to determine the role of garden tools in the transmission of Xanthomonas wilt was carried out on enset in a greenhouse at the Southern Agricultural Research Institute, Awassa, Ethiopia and on ‘Pisang Awak’ (AABB genome) in the field at Amaro, Southern Ethiopia.
A contaminated knife was used to infect plants.
The treatments in the greenhouse trials comprised of cutting: green leaves; broken green leaves; dry leaves; the pseudostem; and roots.
Similar treatments were carried out on the field-grown ‘Pisang Awak’ plants with two additional treatments: desuckering and debudding.
Debudding was done by cutting off the male bud with a contaminated machete, while a forked stick was used for control samples.
In addition, bacterial ooze was smeared on fresh and dry flower and bract scars at the male part of inflorescences.
All plants treated with a contaminated machete: enset and banana when cut in the pseudostem; and all banana plants when debudded got infected.
Similarly, cutting green leaves and cutting broken green leaves resulted in a high disease transmission of respectively 67 and 62% in banana and 58 and 54% in enset.
Similar high transmission rates (90%) were obtained for desuckering on banana.
On the other hand, cutting roots with a contaminated machete resulted in low transmission levels, with 20% in bananas and 25% in enset suggesting that tool infections mainly occur above ground.
This calls for rigorous tool disinfection, while desuckering and deleafing in highly infected fields should be avoided.
Debudding should be carried out with a forked stick.
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