Banana streak viruses

Banana streak virus





Banana streak viruses (BSV) form a complex of viral species that cause Banana streak. The species belong to the Badnavirus genus and the Caulimoviridae family. Unlike most plant viruses, the genome of these viruses is composed of DNA rather than RNA.

All the isolates used to be considered as belonging to the same species, but some of them have since been shown to be separate species1 2 3 . The viruses exist in episomal form but are also integrated in the DNA of Musa balbisiana and as a result have been found in banana cultivars that have the B genome. Even though not all integrated sequences can trigger an infection, their presence has been a constraint on the movement of genebank accessions that have the B genome4 .


The viruses have non-enveloped, bacilliform particles measuring ca 130-150 x 30 nm and containing a circular dsDNA genome of 7.4 kb5 .


1 Lockhart, B.E.L. and Olszewski, N.E. 1993. Serological and genomic heterogeneity of banana streak badnavirus : implications for virus detection in Musa germplasm. p.105-113. In: Proceedings of International Symposium on Genetic Improvement of Bananas for Resistance to Diseases and Pests, Montpellier (FRA), 1992/09/7-9. Breeding banana and plantain for resistance to diseases and pests. CIRAD-FLHOR, Montpellier (FRA).
2 Geering, A., McMichael, L.A., Dietzgen, R.G. and Thomas, J.E. 2000. Genetic diversity among Banana streak virus isolates from Australia. Phytopathology 90(8):921-927
3 Harper, G., Hart, D., Moult, S. and Hull, R. 2004. Banana streak virus is very diverse in Uganda. Virus Research 100(1):51-56.
4 Banana streak viruses and the distribution of genebank material, published 14 August 2014 in the ProMusa blog

Further reading

The accidental pathogen, page 14 in the 2004 INIBAP Annual Report

Also on this website

News and blogs on BSV: