Black sigatoka transient in Queensland (Australia)
In RS 98/128, the spread of Mycosphaerella fijiensis (causing black sigatoka disease of banana) in the Americas was reviewed. This report mentioned the presence of the pest in Queensland (Australia), which is also cited by CABI Plant Disease Distribution Map no 500. A recent report from Australia makes it clear that the disease has occurred only sporadically in Queensland, and is subject to eradication. A first outbreak was reported in 1981, then another in 1988. There was a further outbreak in 1996, and another has just been reported in the north of the state, near Cairns. A quarantine area 7.5 km around the infested farm has been established, and all susceptible plants in that area are being destroyed. A 15 km zone is being surveyed, and no bananas are permitted to move out of a 50 km zone. In terms of ISPM no 8, the status of M. fijiensis in Australia seems to be "Transient: actionable, under eradication".
ProMED-mail post from E. Kopecny, Sydney