Banana Streak Badnavirus Infection in Musa: Epidemiology, Diagnosis and Control

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Viral leaf streak of banana, caused by banana streak virus (BSV) infection, is a recently-described disease which occurs in most banana-producing countries. The disease, which is known to affect only Musa and Ensete, is spread by vegetative propagation, mealybugs and through seed. BSV infection in banana can adversely affect yield and fruit quality. Isolates of the virus differ in symptoms produced, and are serologically and genomically heterogeneous. This has led to problems in developing reliable indexing methods for virus identification and disease control. Integration of segments of viral genome into Musa nuclear DNA may limit the usefulness of PCR amplification for BSV detection in Musa.

B.E. Lockhart
Food & Fertilizer Technology Center