Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

First report of Colletotrichum siamense causing anthracnose of cliff banana in India.

Abstract

Cliff banana, Ensete superbum of the family Musaceae, is a non-stoloniferous herb that reproduces only through seeds. It is a rare and threatened plant species in India used for medicine, food, fibre, and ornamental purposes. Cliff banana is distributed on rocky slopes and crevices across the forests of the Western Ghats and northeastern sub-Himalayan tracts of India. In July 2011, one-month-old cliff banana plants with black sunken lesions on midribs and petioles of young and old leaves were observed in Vithura and Kottiyur forest regions located in Kerala State, India. The disease was subsequently found scattered across an area of 2 km2. Symptoms initially appeared as water soaked, dark brown or black, sunken, circular to irregular lesions usually 25 mm or more in diameter extending from the midrib to across the leaf lamina. Infection on the leaf sheath and petiole resulted in the weakening and subsequent breaking off at the point of infection. At high humidity, infection expanded rapidly; plants turned yellow and gradually dried up. Based on morphological characteristics, nucleotide sequence analysis and pathogenicity tests, the causal agent was identified as C. siamense. The fungus infects many tropical grown fruits and flower species. This is thought to be the first report of C. siamense causing anthracnose on cliff banana.