A SURVEY OF BANANA DISEASES IN SUCKER PROPAGATED PLANTATIONS IN GRETE
The choice of large size suckers far planting material in establishing plantations in Crete, provides the means of dissemination of several and diverse diseases. The most prevalent nematode species inhabiting the root system of banana (Musa AAA cavendish sub group: Dwarf Cavendish) in Crete is the root-knot nematode Meloidogyne javanica, which occurred in nearly 95% of the sampled sites. Two other nematode species, Helicotylenchus multicinctus and Pratylenchus goodeyi, were found in 28"/0 and 18"/0, respectively, of the banana plantations. Nematode-infested banana roots were frequently in a general state of decay especially when the roots were also concomitantly infected by soil-borne fungi and/or bacteria. Several species of soil-borne fungi were isolated from necrotic tissues that in order of frequency of occurrence are: Acremonium sp. 24%, Rhizoctonia solani 12%; Fusarium oxysporum 12%; F. solani 6%; Phytium sp. 4%; Fusarium compactum 3%; and Cylindrocarpon sp. 3%. Pectinolytic bacteria, Erwinia spp. and Pseudomonas sp., were also consistently isolated from nematode-infected plants. Symptoms of virus infections were occasionally observed in the sucker planting material and referred to a strain of Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV).