Blood disease in bananas caused by Ralstonia syzygii subsp. celebesensis is a bacterial wilt causing significant crop losses in Indonesia and Malaysia. Disease symptoms include wilting of the plant and red-brown vascular staining, internal rot, and discoloration of green banana fruit. There is no known varietal resistance to this disease in the Musa genus, although variation in susceptibility has been observed, with the popular Indonesian cooking banana variety Kepok being highly susceptible. This study established the current geographic distribution of Blood disease in Indonesia and confirmed the pathogenicity of isolates by Koch's postulates. The long-distance distribution of the disease followed an arbitrary pattern indicative of human-assisted movement of infected banana materials. In contrast, local or short-distance spread radiated from a single infection source, indicative of dispersal by insects and possibly contaminated tools, water, or soil. The rapid expansion of its geographical range makes Blood disease an emerging threat to banana production in Southeast Asia and beyond.
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