Sigatoka Disease in Banana, Prevention and Control Methods

Sigatoka disease is a major problem for Banana growers around the world. The disease causes plant leaves to turn yellow and eventually die, which reduces the yield and quality of the fruit. Sigatoka disease is caused by a fungus spread by wind, rain, and insects. The fungus infects the Banana leaves, causing them to yellow and eventually die. In this blog post, we will explore Sigatoka disease in more detail. We will discuss its causes, symptoms, and prevention and control methods.

Sigatoka Disease in Banana

What is Sigatoka disease of Banana?

Sigatoka disease is a major problem for Banana growers worldwide. The disease is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis and can lead to significant yield loss in infected crops. The fungus affects the Banana leaves, causing them to develop brown or yellow spots. These spots eventually spread and cover the entire leaf, causing it to die. The disease can also cause fruit to rot and drop from the plant before it is ripe.

Sigatoka disease is most commonly found in tropical regions where Banana plants are grown. The fungus thrives in warm, moist conditions and can be spread by wind, rain, or even through contact with infected leaves or fruit. Once a plant is infected, the disease can quickly spread throughout the crop, leading to significant losses. There are several methods that growers can use to control Sigatoka disease.

These include using resistant varieties of Banana plants, applying fungicides to infected crops, and practicing good cultural practices such as keeping the area around Banana plants free of debris. There are mainly four methods of control for Sigatoka disease: chemical control, cultural control, biological control, and resistance breeding. Chemical control is the common method used by commercial growers and involves applying fungicides to protect the leaves from infection.

Cultural control practices like pruning and sanitary measures can help to reduce the spread of pathogens within a plantation. Biological control involves using antagonistic fungi or bacteria to compete with M. fijiensis for space and nutrients on the leaf surface. Finally, resistance breeding is a long-term solution that aims to develop Banana cultivars that are resistant to Sigatoka disease

Symptoms of Sigatoka disease

The symptoms of Sigatoka Disease vary depending on the stage of the disease. Small, yellow spots appear on the plant’s leaves in the early stages. These spots eventually turn brown and spread, causing the leaves to die. As the disease progresses, brown patches appear on the plant’s fruit. The fruit may also be smaller than normal and have a bumpy texture.

The main symptoms of Sigatoka disease are leaf spots, ranging from small, dark brown spots to large, necrotic lesions. These leaf spots lead to premature plant defoliation, reducing photosynthetic area and ultimately resulting in yield loss. In addition to yield loss, Sigatoka disease can reduce fruit quality by causing blemishes on the fruit surface. In severe cases, Sigatoka Disease can destroy an entire Banana crop. The best method to prevent this is to practice good agricultural practices such as proper irrigation and fertilization.

Additionally, using fungicides can help control the spread of Sigatoka Disease. The symptoms of Sigatoka disease in Bananas are varied and depend on the severity of the infection. The most common symptom is the yellowing of the leaves, which can start at the tips and margins and spread to cover the entire leaf. Brown spotting may also occur; the leaves may eventually turn completely brown and die. Fruit may also be affected, appearing small and deformed with brown spots. Severely infected plants may produce little or no fruit.

Causes of Sigatoka disease of Banana

Sigatoka disease is a major problem for Banana growers worldwide. The disease is caused by the fungi Mycosphaerella fijiensis and Mycosphaerella musicola, which attack the Banana plant leaves. Sigatoka can reduce the yield of Bananas by up to 80%, making the fruit more susceptible to bruising. There are two main types of Sigatoka disease: Brown Sigatoka and Black Sigatoka. Brown Sigatoka (also known as leaf spot disease) is the more common disease characterized by brown spots on the leaves.

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Sigatoka Disease on Banana Leaf

Black Sigatoka is less common but is more destructive and can cause complete defoliation of the Banana plant. The best way to control Sigatoka disease is by combining cultural practices and chemical treatments. Cultural practices such as pruning, roguing, and clean cultivation can help reduce the disease’s spread. Chemical treatments such as fungicides can help to control the spread of the disease but should be used in conjunction with cultural practices for best results.

Disease cycle of Sigatoka of Banana

The disease cycle begins when the fungus spores are blown onto the leaves of the Banana plant. The spores germinate and release toxins that cause small, dark brown spots on the leaves. These spots eventually turn yellow and spread, causing the leaves to turn brown and die. If left unchecked, Sigatoka can quickly kill a Banana plant.

To prevent Sigatoka, farmers should avoid planting Bananas in areas where the disease is common. They should also remove infected plants from their fields and destroy them. Farmers can also spray their plants with fungicides to prevent the disease from taking hold.

Best control measures for Sigatoka in Banana

The best control measure for Sigatoka disease in Bananas is to practice preventive measures such as maintaining cleanliness in the plantation, judicious use of fungicides, and proper irrigation. Maintaining cleanliness on the plantation is the most important measure to prevent the spread of Sigatoka disease. Therefore, all infected plant parts should be promptly removed and destroyed. Likewise, the surrounding area should be kept free of debris and weeds. Proper irrigation is essential to prevent the spread of Sigatoka disease.

Water stress promotes fungal growth and increases the susceptibility of plants to infection. Irrigation should be done early or late in the evening to allow sufficient time for leaves to dry before nightfall. Fungicides are an effective means of controlling Sigatoka disease. However, their use should be judicious to avoid promoting resistance to the fungus. Therefore, fungicides should only be used when necessary, and application should be timed to coincide with periods of high susceptibility (i.e., when new leaves emerge).

How to prevent Sigatoka disease?

Sigatoka disease is a fungal infection that affects the leaves of Banana trees. The disease is caused by the fungi Mycosphaerella musicola and Mycosphaerella fijiensis. Sigatoka disease can reduce the yield of Banana trees by up to 50%. Sigatoka disease is a major problem for Banana growers around the world. A fungus causes the disease infects the Banana plant leaves and can lead to reduced yields and quality.

There are four main types of Sigatoka disease named after the geographical region where they were first identified: Black Sigatoka, Brown Sigatoka, Yellow Sigatoka, and Spotty Sigatoka. The best way to prevent Sigatoka disease is to remove infected leaves from the tree. In addition, pruning tools should be sterilized between each cut to prevent the fungus. Banana trees should also be fertilized and irrigated regularly to promote healthy growth.

Fungicides can also be used to prevent Sigatoka disease. Fungicides should be applied every two weeks during the wet season. The most effective fungicides against Sigatoka disease are Mancozeb, Zineb, and QoI (quinone outside inhibitor) fungicides. The best way to prevent Sigatoka is by combining cultural practices and chemical control.

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Sigatoka Disease in Banana Farming

Cultural practices

  • Remove infected leaves as soon as possible
  • Avoid overhead irrigation
  • Maintain good drainage
  • Promote air circulation around the plants
  • Destroy infected plant material

Other cultural practices

  1. Crop rotation: This involves growing a different crop in the field where Bananas were previously grown. This helps to reduce the build-up of the fungus that causes Sigatoka disease.
  2. Sanitation: This involves keeping the field free of debris and dead leaves, which can harbor the fungus that causes Sigatoka disease.
  3. Resistant varieties: Some Bananas are more resistant to Sigatoka disease than others. These varieties can be planted in fields where Sigatoka disease is prevalent.

Chemical controls

  1. Fungicides: Several fungicides can be used to control Sigatoka disease. These products must be applied regularly to be effective. Fungicide applications should be applied before disease symptoms appear and at regular intervals according to the product label. Be sure to follow all label directions and safety precautions.
  2. Herbicides: Herbicides can control weeds in fields where Bananas are grown. This helps to reduce Sigatoka disease in Banana crops.


Sigatoka disease is a serious threat to Banana plantations; some measures can be taken to prevent and control the spread of the disease. The disease is a major problem for farmers in tropical countries, where Bananas are a major crop. Sigatoka disease can reduce the yield of Bananas by up to 50%. There are several methods of preventing and controlling Sigatoka disease. Farmers can use fungicides to protect their crops from infection. They can also grow resistant varieties of Bananas. By following the proper prevention and control methods, farmers can protect their crops from Sigatoka Disease and ensure a good yield.

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