Editorial: Fusarium Wilt of Banana, a Recurring Threat to Global Banana Production

Kema, Gert H.J.; Drenth, André; Dita, Miguel; Jansen, Kees; Vellema, Sietze; Stoorvogel, Jetse J.


This Research Topic contains a selection of papers dealing with Fusarium wilt of banana (FWB), also known as Panama disease, that investigate (i) the epidemiology, distribution, infection biology, and diversity of the pathogen, (ii) management practices, and (iii) ways to identify and screen for resistance. The Research Topic arose from the increasing spread and the growing global impact of FWB, affecting a wide range of banana production systems worldwide.

During the inception of this Research Topic an increased understanding of genetic diversity of Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc), traditionally considered as the causal agent of FWB, emerged and showed that Foc comprises several different Fusarium species (Ploetz, 2006; Maryani et al., 2019). The so-called Tropical Race 4 (TR4) was found to be genetically distant from other FWB causing species and was described as Fusarium odoratissimum (Maryani et al., 2019).