The effect of soil properties on the relation between soil management and Fusarium wilt expression in Gros Michel bananas

Segura Mena, R.; Stoorvogel, J.J.; Sandoval, J.A.


This study looks whether the response of soil management (liming and nitrogen fertilization) on the incidence of Fusarium wilt (Foc Race 1) in Gros Michel banana (Musa AAA) varies with different soil properties.
The effect of inoculation with Foc Race 1 was studied in a factorial greenhouse trial with soil samples from eight representative soil types from the Costa Rican banana region, two pH levels; and three levels of N-fertilization. After an 8-week period, plant biomass and a disease index were measured.
There were significant effects of soil pH and N, and their interactions on disease expression. Low pH levels and high N-fertilization increased the disease expression. The response to changes in soil pH and N-fertilization differed considerably between the different soils.
Although soil pH and N influence Fusarium wilt in banana, each soil differs in its response to these soil properties. This complicates the development of standard soil management strategies in terms of e.g., N-fertilization and liming to mitigate or fight the disease.