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    The bacterium Ralstonia syzygii subsp. celebesensis causes Blood disease of banana, a vascular wilt of economic significance in Indonesia and Malaysia. Blood disease has expanded its geographic range in the last 20 years and is an emerging threat to Southeast Asian banana production. Many aspects of the disease cycle and biology are not well understood, including the ability of different parts of the female and male inflorescence of banana to act as infection courts. This study confirms that the banana varieties of Cavendish, and Kepok 'Kuning' are susceptible to Blood disease and that an inoculum concentration of 102 CFU/ml of R. syzygii subsp. celebesensis is adequate to initiate disease after pseudostem inoculation. Data show that infection occurs through both the male and female parts of a banana inflorescence and the rachis when snapped to remove the male bell. The infection courts are the female flowers, the male bell bract scar, the male bell flower cushion, the snapped rachis, and deflowered fingers. The location of these infection courts concurs with the dye studies demonstrating that dye externally applied to these plants parts enters the plant vascular system. Thus, the hypothesis is supported that infection of R. syzygii subsp. celebesensis occurs through open xylem vessels of the male and female parts of the banana inflorescence.


    Jane D Ray, Siti Subandiyah, Vivian A Rincón-Flórez, Ady B Prakoso, Lilia C Carvalhais, André Drenth. Susceptibility of the Banana Inflorescence to Blood Disease. Phytopathology. 2022 Apr;112(4):803-810

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    PMID: 34636648

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