Banana freckle: declared pest

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Banana freckle, the fungal disease caused by Phyllosticta cavendishii, is a serious pest of Cavendish bananas that can affect their commercial value and marketability. This pest is not known to occur in Western Australia. Early detection and reporting of banana freckle will help protect the Western Australian banana industry.

Banana freckle was detected in the Northern Territory in July 2013. Infected properties have been quarantined in order to prevent further movement of the disease.

What plants are affected?

Banana freckle primarily affects Cavendish bananas, the main commercial cultivar grown in Western Australia.

What do I look for?

Banana freckle describes the rough, freckle-like spots that occur on infected fruit and leaves, where symptoms present as numerous raised, brown–black spots about 1 mm in diameter. When rubbed, the infected fruit or leaves have a rough, sandpaper feel.

What damage can this disease cause?

Banana freckle causes blemishes to the fruit that reduce their commercial value and marketability. It is not harmful to human health and eating qualities of the fruit are not affected.

What do I do if I find it?

Phyllosticta cavendishii M.H. Wong & Crous (2012) is a prohibited organism for Western Australia. It is important that any suspect occurrences are reported. Early detection and eradication will help protect the Western Australian banana industry. Please contact the Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS) to report this pest.

Contact information

Pest and Disease Information Service (PaDIS)
+61 (0)8 9368 3080
Page last updated: Tuesday, 1 September 2015 - 12:36pm

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