Banana bunchy top virus
Causal organism: Virus
Banana, plantain, abaca, wild banana, bird of paradise, ginger
Affected plant stages
All growth stages
Affected plant parts
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
- Banana aphids (Pentalonia nigronevosa)
- Infected planting materials
- Volunteer plants that serve as alternate hosts; like bird of paradise, ginger, and wild bananas
Prevention and control
There is no cure for bunchy top viral disease. However, it can be avoided by;
- using diseased-free planting materials
- controlling of aphids, using soapy water or insecticidal soap. Spray the plants thoroughly, importantly on petioles, furled leaves, whorls, or on young suckers.
- removing and rouging of infected banana plants. Chop, dry, and bury the infected plants.