Mycosphaerella eumusae: a new leaf spot disease of banana
Leaf spot diseases of banana are of great concern to banana-growing countries. So far, only the following Mycosphaerella species were found associated with these diseases:
- Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorph Paracercospora fijiensis) causing Black Sigatoka (or black leaf streak disease).
- M. musicola (anamorph Pseudocercospora musae) causing Sigatoka (or Yellow Sigatoka)
- M. musae, causing a leaf speckle disease which is considered of little importance except in Australia.
M. fijiensis is currently spreading to new banana-growing areas (i.e. from its area of origin in East Asia/Pacific to America and Africa) displacing M. musicola and causing serious damage. Surveys were done from 1992 to 1995 in Asia, to determine the distribution of M. fijiensis and M. musicola. Fungal specimens associated with banana leaf spot symptoms were collected in various countries (India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam) and examined. But many specimens were found to be an undetermined, pathogenic Mycosphaerella species with a Septoria anamorph. This pathogen was described as a new species and called Mycosphaerella eumusae (anamorph Septoria eumusae). Symptoms caused by M. eumusae are very similar to those caused by M. fijiensis. The presence of this new species was confirmed in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Mauritius and Nigeria.
Carlier J, Zapater M-F, Lapeyre F, Jones DR, Mourichon X (2000) Septoria leaf spot of banana: a newly discovered disease caused by Mycosphaerella eumusae (anamorph Septoria eumusae). Phytopathology 90(7), 884-890.