Organic and Transition Bananas: Experience With Effective Microorganisms (EM)

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Since 1993, several organic banana production models and strategies have been established at EARTH University in Costa Rica in order to provide experience for its academic program as well as its commercial operations. The experience includes work on the management of black sigatoka disease (Mycosphaerella fijiensis) and the burrowing nematode (Radopholus similis), the use of bokashi as an organic soil amendment, the use of different varieties, etc. The strategies include the use of effective microorganisms as a major component of the experience which has shown its contributions in both the organic regimen and the transition to organic models, enabling the control of black sigatoka fungus (Mycosphaerella fijiensis) and the burrowing nematodes (Radopholus similis). An understanding of the nutritional needs of organic bananas has also been made clearer.

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... acevedo (1997) en banano observó una correlación negativa entre la concentración de Fe (r= -0,40; P= 0,0097) en el suelo y el peso de raíz funcional. algunos investigadores creen que la infección por nematodos en las raíces de banano se favorece por la toxicidad de Fe, mn y zn (Tabora et al. 2002). el objetivo de la presente investigación fue determinar la correlación entre las características físicoquímicas del suelo y el número de nematodos en las raíces del banano. ...
... También se menciona que cuando hay exceso de n en los tejidos y se acumula, se favorece la infección por patógenos (Better crops 1998). Tabora et al. (2002) sugirió que la toxicidad de Fe, mn y zn favorece la infección por nematodos. en concordancia se observó que conforme aumentó el mn aumentó el número de R. similis y Pratylenchus spp. ...
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El objetivo del presente trabajo fue correlacionar las características físico-químicas del suelo con el peso de raíces y su número de nematodos en banano. Se emplearon muestras pareadas de cinco hectáreas de banano en una plantación comercial del Ecuador en el 2006. En 120 unidades de producción se tomaron las muestras de raíces y suelo. Se hizo análisis físico y químico del suelo y sus valores se correlacionaron con peso de raíz total, funcional y número de nematodos presentes en las raíces de banano. De las variables de suelo estudiadas, cuatro se asociaron con peso de raíz total, nueve con el de raíz funcional, cinco con el número de Radopholus similis, seis con el de Helicotylenchus spp., cuatro con el de Pratylenchus spp. y nueve con el de nematodos totales. De las características físicas (contenidos de arena, limo y arcilla) estudiadas, un 50 % correlacionaron ya fuera con el peso de raíces o número de nematodos, mientras de las químicas, solamente se encontró correlación en 15 % de las relaciones estudiadas. A pesar de la significancia estadística, el valor de correlación fue bajo o muy bajo, con un máximo de r= 0,53; Plt; 0,0001 para el contenido de arena y número de nematodos totales. Los resultados sugieren futuros estudios en dos líneas: el efecto de la nutrición en el número y daño de los nematodos y el efecto de los nematodos en la absorción de nutrientes.
... In organic cropping systems, early protection with BAs in tissue-culturederived banana plantlets may complement the application of soil amendments. Organic materials may contribute to the establishment of a healthier rhizosphere environment for the growth of BAs by making needed nutrients available and also may improve modes of action of BAs against the target pathogens by stimulating competition, parasitism, toxic secondary metabolites and predation (Chen et al., 2000;Tabora et al., 2002;Marín, 2003). ...
Eight endophytic fungal and bacterial isolates with antagonistic activity against Radopholus similis were evaluated in vivo for their individual and combined effects on biocontrol of R. similis and on the growth of “Grand Naine” cultivar banana plantlets in the greenhouse. Penetration efficiency (PE) of R. similis was between 3 and 21% in 29 biological agents (BAs) treatments, less than the 29% of the nematode-alone control (p≤0.0001); 24 of the BAs treatments did not differ from the PE of 5% for a nematicide control. Twenty nine BAs treatments exhibited antagonistic activity against nematodes which reduced final population levels between 18 and 93%, relative to those on nematode-alone control plants (p≤0.0001), and 14 BAs treatments were statistically similar to the nematicide treatment (88% reduction). Twenty four BAs treatments had increments of plant root biomass ranging from 20 to 58%, greater than the control plants; 37% of the treatments with single and combined BAs inoculations had root length increments ranging from 29 to 54% compared with control and chemical treatment. The nematicide, Terbufos 10GR, did not affect plant growth.
The control of the black sigatoka fungus disease in bananas and plantains, estimated to be at a cost of $200 million annually, has been widely related to loss of bio-diversity, increased health hazards, and economic instability of many banana producing countries. Thus, biological control for the disease is deemed a wise alternative. A 0.6 ha area was established at the banana farm of EARTH in Guacimo, Costa Rica, with EM in 1:100 ratio. Evaluations on the leaves were done for 14 alternate weeks and ended four weeks before harvest. The results showed that number of healthy leaves were 8.4 with EM. The position of the YLS (youngest spotted leaf) was 7.4 with EM. The number of diseased leaves was 2.2 for the treatment. The average infection rating was 0.52 for EM. The results indicate that EM can sufficiently control black sigatoka and maintain 8 to 9 leaves at about fruiting time. This is comparable to results using the regular chemical control with 10 leaves.
Epidemiologia y ecologia de la sigatoka negra (Mycosphaerella fijjiensis, MORELET) en plátano (Musa sp.) en Costa Rica
  • F Gauhl
Gauhl, F. (1992). Epidemiologia y ecologia de la sigatoka negra (Mycosphaerella fijjiensis, MORELET) en plátano (Musa sp.) en Costa Rica. Panamá. UPEB. 114 pp.
Mutual interactions between organics and iron Interactions of Soil Minerals with Natural Organics and Microbes
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