News: Fusarium Wilt TR4 dubbed as Banana Covid is setting up new hotspots and threatening the output of Banana Cultivation in India.
- Tropical Race 4(TR4): It is a novel fungus strain that causes Fusarium wilt (aka Panama disease) in banana plants.
- Origin: It was first identified in Taiwan and has jumped from Asia to the Middle East and Africa reaching as far as Latin America.
- Threat: It cripples plantations by first attacking the leaves which turn yellow from their trailing edges before wilting away.
- Treatment: There is no effective remedy yet.Hence, scientists recommend biosecurity measures including plant quarantine to slow its spread.