Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Banana Pests and Disease
Name: Joann
Status: educator
Age: 20's
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 4/8/2003

I read an article on how the Cavendish Banana is under severe threat by the Panama disease, Black sigatoka and pests. My question is what is Panama disease and black sigatoka and how does it directly effect the production of this particular type of banana? Also, what type of "pests" threaten the reproduction of bananas?

I did a quick search on banana diseases and pests and found the following sites to be the most comprehensive:

From what I was able to gather there is concern about the lack of biodiversity in commercial banana plants world wide. Some feel that this is a setup for a disaster. I could not find any references that said the disaster had started -- rather concern that if wiser breeding of bananas is not begun immediately this important food crop could be wiped out.

Vince Calder

Perhaps helpful:

and you could search for "banana diseases pests production"

Anthony Brach Ph.D

Click here to return to the Botany Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory