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Sigatoka leaf spot

Scientific name: Mycosphaerella fijiensis; M. musicola
Causal organism: Airborne fungus
Common name: Black Sigatoka (Black leaf streak); Yellow Sigatoka


Banana and plantains

Affected growth stages

All growth stages but very destructive during the reproductive stage

Affected plant parts

All plant parts


picture discription
Photo source: IBINAP

Initial damage of Black Sigatoka is tiny dead spots that appear on the lower leaf surface of the third or fourth fully expanded leaf. Later, the spots become rusty-brown or dark-brown or black that often have definite end points and that the sides are sharply limited by the leaf veins. When the spots meet, large area of the leaf is blackened and watersoaked. Another symptom is dark-red or brown or purple leaf spots, that become elliptical as they enlarge and with the black marking characteristic on the leaves.

picture discription
Photo source: IBINAP

Yellow Sigatoka causes tiny yellow spots, less than 1 mm long, that appear on third or fourth leaf from the top of the plant. The spots become yellowish-green to yellow and then later change to brown or rusty-red with defined yellow margins. The tissues on the spots die and become grayish with dark-brown or black margins. During a heavy infection, the leaves die with spots outlined in brown or black against the dark-brown background of dead leaves. The yellow rings around the young spots and the residual yellowing of leaf tissues surrounding the mature spots are the distinguishing characteristics of the Yellow Sigatoka disease.

Conditions that favor development

  1. Hot and humid conditions, frequent heavy dews, and frequent light rains
  2. Weedy fields
  3. Poor soil drainage

Prevention and control

  1. Use of resistant cultivars
  2. Field sanitation
  3. Pruning of infected leaves and then burning or burying them
  4. Wider plant spacing
  5. Control of weeds
  6. Better drainage
  7. Bordeaux spray

External links


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