Oral Presentation Science Protecting Plant Health 2017

Quaternary ammonium based disinfectants for effective on-farm biosecurity management of Panama disease in bananas (4214)

Shanara Veivers 1 , Tegan Kukulies 1 , Kathy Grice 2 , Peter Trevorrow 2
  1. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Boogan, QLD, Australia
  2. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mareeba, QLD, Australia

Panama disease caused by the soil borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f.sp cubense poses a serious threat to the Australian banana industry. The use of disinfectants to decontaminate vehicles, machinery, tools and equipment is a critical on-farm biosecurity practice, as it reduces the risk of spreading the disease. Quaternary ammonium (QA) based disinfectants containing 120 g/L didecyldimethyl-ammonium chloride applied at a 1% solution (1200ppm) have shown to kill fungal spores that cause Panama disease. Prior to this research growers had no means of monitoring or managing effective concentrations of QA compounds. High range test strips (0-1500ppm) which measure the concentration of active ingredient have provided consistent and accurate results, and are an effective tool for routine monitoring of QA compounds. Using the test strips as indicators, in the absence of soil and organic matter, QA compounds have remained at a 1% solution when exposed to field conditions for 4 months. In addition, infrastructure such as footbaths and wash-down facilities are vital components of effective on-farm biosecurity. When various types of metals including aluminium, galvanised, painted, unpainted steel and stainless (304) steel were submerged in 3 different QA compound disinfectants (1200ppm didecyldimethyl-ammonium chloride) for 2 months, they did not corrode the metals significantly more than water alone. An important component of on-farm biosecurity which reduces the risk of spreading Panama disease is that banana growers maintain effective concentrations of disinfecting solution and are constructing biosecurity infrastructure from materials that will withstand the test of time.