Black sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorphic stage: Paracercospora fijiensis), was first detected in Brazil in early 1998 in the Benjamin Constant and Tabatinga municipalities in the State of Amazonas, near to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru converge. Understanding how cultivars react to the pathogen, and characterizing the genetic variability of isolates from two distant and distinct banana-producing regions, are important for determining the virulence of M. fijiensis.
Among the diseases affecting banana (Musa sp), yellow Sigatoka, caused by the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella musicola Leach, is considered one of the most important in Brazil, causing losses throughout the year. Understanding the genetic structure of pathogen populations will provide insight into the life history of pathogens, including the evolutionary processes occurring in agrosystems.
Microsatellite markers have been widely used in the quantification of genetic variability and for genetic breeding in Musa spp. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the discriminatory power of microsatellite markers derived from ‘Calcutta 4’ and ‘Ouro’ genomic libraries, and to analyze the genetic variability among 30 banana accessions. Thirty-eight markers were used: 15 from the ‘Ouro’ library and 23 from the ‘Calcutta 4’ library.