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Last Update: 22 Jan 2018
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Banana Bunchy Top DiseaseBanana Bunchy Top Disease

Banana - Bunchy Top Disease (BBTV)


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Photo 1: Banana Bunchy Top Disease caused by a virus.

CAUSAL ORGANISM

This disease, which is categorised as an A2 disease under Plant Quarantine, is caused by a single-stranded DNA isometric virus, about 18 nm in diameter. The virus is spread through planting material and also by the banana aphid, Pentalonia nigronervosa Cog. The virus is named after the characteristic symptoms it causes, the banana bunchy top virus - BBTV. This virus was first discovered in Fiji in 1989. Since then, it has been found in Australia, Australia, Taiwan, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam Selatan, Laos, Kemboja, Indonesia, Philippine, Tonga and Samoa Barat. In 1995, It was found in Sarawak, mostly Pisang Berangan. Preventive action has been taken immediately by the Department of Agriculture and so far, there is no report on this disease.

SYMPTOMATOLOGY

The first symptoms to appear for this disease are dark-green discontinuous (Morse code-like) and continuous streaks in the leaf petiole, mid-rib and leaf lamina. Leaves are bunched at the apex and form a rosetta, giving a bunchy top appearance. The leaf lamina has thickened ridges and infected leaves are brittle and tear easily. The young infected plant becomes stunted with shortened leaf petioles giving rise to an erect appearance. No fruit is produced. Under plant house conditions, symptoms may appear in inoculated plants approximately 25 days after infection. The virus is systemic and infected plants will produce infected suckers. Sometimes suckers from infected plants appear normal, but symptoms usually appear before maturity. The virus can also be transmitted through tissue culture material, sometimes in a virtually symptompless condition. The plant can remain so for some months after planting out in the field.

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Photo 2: Leaves are bunched at the apex

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Photo 3: Dark green streaks on aboxial mid-rib of leaf and leaf lamina

 

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Photo 4: More Prominent dark green streaks on petiole of young infected plant

 

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                  Photo 5: Banana Aphids, Pentalonia nigronervosa

 

HOST RANGE

Banana and plantain cultivars belongings to the acuminata (AA and AAA) genomic grouping appear to be more susceptible than those belonging to the balbisiana (BB and BBB) genomic grouping. The Cavendish (AAA), Pisang Mas (AA), Pisang Embun (AAA), and Pusang Berangan (AAA) are therefore very vulnerrable to this virus.

Other possible host plants are the garland flower, Hedychium coronarium Koenig (Zingiberaceae), and taro / cocoyam, Colocasia esculenta (Araceae).

PREVENTIVE AND CONTROL MEASURES

  • Use only diseaes-free planting materials. When buying tissue-culture material, check that they are certified BBTV - free by the company
  • Learn to recognise the symptoms well and keep a constant vigilance to check for occurence of any symptom. Effective control depends upon early detection and destruction of the diseased plants.
  • Take prompt eradication action of infected plants. Dig up the infected plant, suckers and mat, and destroy them to prevent regrowth. Spray the dug-out plants with insecticide to kill the aphids (malathion or pyrethrin) and then weedicide (2-4D Amine, Diuron) to kill the plant and its mat.
  • In areas where there has been a BBTV disease incidence, practise aphid control.

CONTACT PERSON

Senior Research Officer, Dr. Lily Eng, Agriculture Research Centre Semongok, Tel: 082-611171, Email: lilye@sarawaknet.gov.my

 

Source: Leaflet No.46-B(E), Banana Bunchy Top Disease, Department of Agriculture

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