Management of Banana Bunchy Top in Hawaii

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $90,458.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2008
Region: Western
State: Hawaii
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Cerruti R. R. Hooks
University of Maryland

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: bananas, general tree fruits


  • Pest Management: disease vectors, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, prevention, sanitation


    Hawaii banana plantings are plagued with several yield reducing pests. Among which, Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) and its aphid vectors (Pentalonia nigronervosa) are of greatest economic concern. In the pass, limited field research and outreach efforts were conducted in Hawaii with regards to these organisms. As a result, several “grower myths” developed in Hawaii regarding their management and changes in production practices resulting from these gratuitous beliefs helped to promote virus spread. Thus, the goal of this project was to help banana growers sustain the economic viability of their operations through the obtainment and dissemination of practical and trustworthy information on BBTV and Pentalonia nigronervosa that could readily be used as part of an integrated disease management program.

    Project objectives:

    1. obtaining a better understanding of the banana aphid’s biology and ecology,studying the pattern of banana bunchy top virus spread in commercial fields, and

      determining disease parameters that are important to the development of virus management practices

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.