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Banana bunchy top virus

Causal organism: Virus

Host plants

Banana, plantain, abaca, wild banana, bird of paradise, ginger

Affected plant stages

All growth stages

Affected plant parts

Whole plant


The initial symptom is the presence of dark-green spots on the petioles, midribs, and leaf veins of the newly emerging leaves. The infected leaves are erect, narrow, stunted, and often have yellow leaf margins. The leaves become smaller as the disease progresses. Eventually, the crown of the plant is composed of only stunted leaves, producing a "bunchy top", hence the name. The infected plant does not produce any fruit or the bunch does not emerge from the pseudostem.

Conditions that favor development

  1. Banana aphids (Pentalonia nigronevosa)
  2. Infected planting materials
  3. Volunteer plants that serve as alternate hosts; like bird of paradise, ginger, and wild bananas
  4. Weeds

Prevention and control

    There is no cure for bunchy top viral disease. However, it can be avoided by;
  1. using diseased-free planting materials
  2. controlling of aphids, using soapy water or insecticidal soap. Spray the plants thoroughly, importantly on petioles, furled leaves, whorls, or on young suckers.
  3. removing and rouging of infected banana plants. Chop, dry, and bury the infected plants.

External links


 to the top        PAN Germany, OISAT; Email oisat@pan-germany.org