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Doktorsavhandling2019Öppen tillgång

Banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt in Rwanda : biology, risk factors and farmers’ awareness

Uwamahoro, Florence


Banana (Musa spp.) and potato (Solanum tuberosum) are important food and cash crops worldwide as they contribute to food security and income generation for farmers. Despite their importance, banana and potato do not reach their potential production due to a number of limitations, including pests and diseases. In Rwanda, banana xanthomonas wilt caused by Xanthomonas campestris pv. musacearum and potato bacterial wilt caused by the Ralstonia solanacearum species complex (RSSC) are the major diseases of banana and potato respectively. These disease-causing bacteria have similar transmission means and the two crops are vegetatively propagated. Little is known about these diseases in Rwanda. The aim of this study was to investigate the biology, risk factors and farmers’ awareness of banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt and how they affect disease occurrence in Rwanda. Surveys revealed that both diseases were present in major and minor growing areas for potato and banana. Banana xanthomonas wilt incidence varied between 27 to 77 % in 2015 and from 26 to 86% in 2016. Disease incidence ranged between 5 and 24 % in 2014 for potato bacterial wilt. These records are high considering the importance of the crops. The farmers’ knowledge and implementation of management strategies were insufficient for both diseases, due to inaccessibility to adequate information. Cultural practices such as mono-cropping, intercropping, wide spacing and avoidance of sharing tools were highly associated with low potato bacterial wilt occurrence (p < 0.05), whereas dense spacing, intercropping and beer bananas were linked to high occurrence of banana xanthomonas wilt (p < 0.05). The population of the RSSC causing potato bacterial wilt in Rwanda is dominated by phylotype II strains (Ralstonia solanacearum emend. Safni). The isolates used in host range and cultivar susceptibility tests to the bacteria, X. campestris pv. musacearum and R. solanacearum, infected only banana or potato respectively and their close relatives, and all the inoculated cultivars were susceptible but at relatively different levels. These studies have improved our understanding of banana xanthomonas wilt and potato bacterial wilt in Rwanda, and provided important insights towards development and communication of sustainable management approach for the diseases, which in turn will improve food security in the country.


bacterial diseases; detection; infection pathways; management; Ralstonia solanacearum; Xanthomonas campestris pv.musacearum

Publicerad i

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
2019, nummer: 2019:46ISBN: 978-91-7760-410-5, eISBN: 978-91-7760-411-2
Utgivare: Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences