Crop Biotech Update

Study Reveals Climate Change Boosts Banana Disease

May 8, 2019

A new study at the University of Exeter reveals that climate change has raised the risk of Black Sigatoka, a fungal disease that ravages banana crops.

The study, which combined experimental data on Black Sigatoka infections over the past 60 years says changes to moisture and temperature conditions have increased the risk of Black Sigatoka by more than 44% in Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s.

"Black Sigatoka is caused by a fungus (Pseudocercospora fijiensis) whose life cycle is strongly determined by weather and microclimate," said Dr. Daniel Bebber, of the University of Exeter. He added that climate change has made temperatures better for spore germination and growth, and made crop canopies wetter, raising the risk of Black Sigatoka infection in many banana-growing areas of Latin America.

For more details, read the news article at the University of Exeter website.