Fusarium wilt by tropical race 4: Current status and presence in the American continent


  • Gustavo Enrique Martínez-Solórzano Instituto Nacional Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA) https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2599-1712
  • Juan C. Rey-Brina Instituto Nacional Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA)
  • Rafael E. Pargas-Pichardo Instituto Nacional Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA)
  • Edwuar Enrique Manzanilla Instituto Nacional Investigaciones Agrícolas (INIA)




banana, disease, plantains, Musa AAB, Musa AAA


Introduction. Fusarium wilt, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, tropical race 4, is considered the most lethal disease of the musaceae because it can survive on the ground for more than twenty years, without effective control. Objective. Review the current status and significant features of this disease and indicate the potential impact risk in Latin America and the Caribbean countries in the face of its recent report in Colombia. Developing. It has several races: race 1 attacks clones of the Silk (Musa AAB) and Gros Michel (Musa AAA) subgroups and was responsible for the loss of the world banana market in 1958, dominated by the latter, being replaced by Cavendish clones (Musa AAA). Race 2 attacks clones of the Bluggoe subgroup (Musa ABB); and race 4, through its tropical and subtropical variants, attacks all Cavendish clones, and those susceptible to race 1 and race 2. There are no natural clones that can replace the current ones. Tropical race 4 (R4T), has spread in different continents, causing multimillion dollar losses, with extreme limitations for its eradication, and recently is a cause for concern in Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries, due to its recent report in the Colombian Guajira. Conclusion. The deficient control, and ignorance of thr traits of the pathogen and the disease, make necessary the development of research for its early diagnosis, management strategies, education measures, and / or promotion of contingency plans. Recently it was detected in Colombia, which implies high risk for the rest of the countries of the LAC region (with emphasis on Ecuador, Panama, and Venezuela), due to the constant flow of people (including tourists) and commercial transactions, being necessary in a way it is imperative to review the risk analysis in this new scenario.


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How to Cite

Martínez-Solórzano, G. E., Rey-Brina, J. C., Pargas-Pichardo, R. E., & Manzanilla, E. E. (2019). Fusarium wilt by tropical race 4: Current status and presence in the American continent. Agronomía Mesoamericana, 31(1), 259–276. https://doi.org/10.15517/am.v31i1.37925