First report of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum in Congo
Since 2001, a new and serious disease of banana has been observed in Uganda. First symptoms included discoloration of flowers and withering of flower bracts, premature flowering of young plants, leaf yellowing wilting and blackening of leaves. Within a month, most affected plants died. The causal agent was then identified as Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum. This bacterium was so far only known from Ethiopia causing a disease in enset (Ensete ventricosum). In Congo (formerly Zaire) in May 2004, farmers reported a new and devastating disease in North Kivu Province, in the district of Masisi (region close to Uganda). Later, another disease outbreak was observed about 20 km from the first one. The presence of X. campestris pv. musacearum was detected in diseased banana plants. Symptoms observed in Congo were similar to those in Uganda. Biochemical and molecular characteristics of 2 isolates from Congo were identical to those of X. campestris pv. musacearum from Uganda. The origin of these outbreaks remains unknown. It is hypothetized that the disease has spread from wild or semi-cultivated enset plants, which are widely present in the Masisi region. This is the first report of Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum in Congo.
Ndungo V, Eden-Green S, Blomme G, Crozier J, Smith J (2005) Presence of banana xanthomonas wilt (Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). New Disease Reports, vol. 11.