Report for FW03-026
Black leaf streak disease has cut deeply into banana production in American Samoa. This fungal disease, which infects all cultivars, attacks newly emerged suckers up to the fruiting stage. Leaves drop and trunks eventually die. Spread of the disease can be curbed with copper-based fungicides. But project coordinator Alatise Fonoti is concerned that chemical sprays on his farm might contaminate streams, wells and water catchments. His solution is to test a variety called Gold Finger, found to be resistant to black leaf streak in banana plantations in Guam, Hawaii and Western Samoa. Fonoti has arranged for at least 100 tissue-cultured Gold Finger bananas, which he will acclimate in a greenhouse and plant when three to four suckers appear on each.