Isolation and identification of fungal pathogens on banana trees (Musa acuminata L.) in Iran.
Banana, with crop coverage of about 3500 acres is one of the most important fruit crops in south-eastern Iran. This study identified fungal pathogens on banana tree (Musa acuminata L.) in the provinces of Hormozgan, Sistan & Bluchestan during 2005-2007. Trees with symptoms of disease were identified and then samples of infected tissue were collected and cultured. Fungi were isolated from small pieces of leaf, corm, pseudostem and fruit from diseased samples then the tissue surface was sterilized with 5% hypochlorite sodium and cultured on a potato dextrose agar (PDA) medium containing lactic acid. Growing colonies of fungi were purified by single spore and hyphal tip methods. Based on the morphological characters and pathogenicity tests, fungal species were identified as follows: Fuasarium oxysporum that caused wilting; Cercospora musae, Colletotrichum musae, Aspergillus carnenus, Acremonium sp., F. verticillioides, F. semitectum, F. subglutinans, F. sambucinum, F. moniliforme and Musicillium theobromae that caused diseased fruit; Cylidrocarpon sp. and Rhizoctonia solani caused corm and root disease; and species Alternaria alternata, Drechslera gigantean and F. proliferatum that caused leaf disease. This was the first report of occurrences of these fungi in banana trees in Iran.