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Fusarium wilt of banana in Uganda, with special emphasis on wiltlike symptoms observed on east Africa highland cooking cultivars (Musa SPP., AAA)
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Surveys were undertaken at 24 diagnostic sites in Uganda to determine the distribution and incidence of Fusarium wilt on exotic banana cultivars caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense. Symptoms normally associated with the disease were found to be widespread throughout the major banana growing regions, and were observed on AAA, ABB, and AB exotic banana cultivars. Wilt incidence on exotic cultivars was as high as 67% on some farms. Symptoms similar to those of Fusarium wilt were also observed on endemic AAA highland banana cultivars, which have previously been considered to be resistant to the disease. Wilt of highland cultivars was only observed in western Uganda at altitudes greater than 1300 masl and mainly within 30 m of homesteads, animal kraals and garbage dumps. Analysis of soil samples collected from sites where symptoms of wilt were found on highland banana cultivars showed high levels of calcium and phosphorus.