For the first time, scientists have been able to infer the origin of incursions of the Tropical race 4 (TR4) fungus that causes Fusarium wilt in Cavendish bananas, as well as many other types. In a paper published in Frontiers in Plant Science, the scientists not only confirmed the presence of TR4 in Myanmar, they also uncovered molecular evidence that this particular strain, as well as the ones present in Laos and Vietnam, were likely introduced from China. Their analyses also revealed that the TR4 strains in the Philippines and Pakistan are closely related, and that the TR4 incursions in Lebanon and Jordan are associated.
The authors of the paper underscore the need for awareness campaigns and the implementation of validated quarantine measures to prevent further dissemination of TR4.
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