Black and Yellow Sigatoka are two of the most common fungal diseases that infect bananas and plantains. Both diseases have the potential to cause major yield losses if left unchecked. These diseases cause lesions on leaves that greatly reduce the photosynthetic capacity of leaves, thus reducing the availability of food for the plant itself. These diseases are widespread and present in nearly all areas that grow banana. Here in The Bahamas, Sigatoka has been reported from Grand Bahama, but, we have recently found the disease on Abaco as well.
If you’re curious if you have Sigatoka on your bananas, below are some symptoms to look for:
-tiny black spots on the 3rd or 4th leaf
-brown streaks along leaf veins
-elliptical brown lesions
-tiny, black dots on dead tissue
If you think you have Sigtaoka on your bananas there are some simple steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease to other banana trees:
-Ensure banana trees have wide spacing
-Remove infected leaves
-Prevent infected leaves from being transported to new locations with uninfected bananas
Let us know if you’ve found Sigatoka on your bananas so that we can help keep track of where the disease has spread!