Have you seen bunchy top symptoms?
Be on the lookout for these symptoms and report them to the Banana Bunchy Top Hotline on 1800 068 371.
Do not cut or disturb plants or move plant material off your property - this can spread the disease. Plants should be treated only by a trained inspector.
Early detection and reporting of symptoms are the key elements in controlling the disease.
Call the Banana Bunchy Top Hotline on 1800 068 371.
Occurring worldwide, banana bunchy top disease is caused by Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV); and is characterised by the "bunched" appearance of newly emerging leaves, and dot-dash flecking of leaves and stem sheaths. Affected plants rarely produce fruit, which can cause significant production losses on commercial farms.
BBTV is a regulated banana pest under quarantine control in Australia. It is currently present in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Banana Industry Biosecurity Guideline
The Banana Industry Biosecurity Guideline (PDF, 431.3KB) provides practical advice for banana growers on managing biosecurity risks.
|What causes bunchy top?|| |
Bunchy top is caused by Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV).
|What does it look like?|| |
Key symptoms of bunchy top disease include:
If infected at an early stage, plants become very stunted and rarely produce bunches. If infected at a later stage, distorted bunches may be produced.
|How is the disease spread?|| |
BBTV is spread in infected planting material, including suckers or bits, or by the banana aphid (Pentalonia nigronervosa), when it feeds on diseased plants and moves to healthy ones. Banana aphids can retain the virus for several weeks and may cover large distances especially when blown by the wind.
|Where is BBTV now?|| |
Bunchy top is currently present in the south east Queensland and northern New South Wales banana production areas of Australia. North Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory productions areas remain free of the disease.
|How is the disease controlled?|| |
Bunchy top cannot be cured and infected plants must be destroyed. Control depends on prompt detection and destruction of infected stools by a trained inspector. There are strict quarantine restrictions to prevent movement of contaminated planting material. Control also depends on the use of uninfected planting material and intensive eradication schemes.
|Control programs|| |
BBTV is currently the focus of a three year project funded by the Australian Banana Growers Council, the Banana Industry Advisory Committee and Horticulture Australia Limited to work towards eradication. Delimiting surveys to determine the spread and intensity of BBTV in southern Queensland and northern NSW are underway. Banana plants are inspected by the project team and infected plants are destroyed by injection with herbicide.
The project's key strategies for bunchy top control are: