Banana streak viruses (BSV) present in the B genome of banana or plantain cultivars give rise to spontaneous infections following abiotic stresses. Because cooking banana is an economically important staple fruit for several countries, knowledge about risks to banana has become essential.
Duroy et al. developed molecular tools to differentiate risk to bananas among samples of seedy BB diploids and both native areas of AAB cultivars. They propose a Musa phylogeny driven by BSV integrations, showing for the first time lineages between BB diploids and hybrids. These results pave the way to the re-introduction of safe-to-use materials into banana breeding programmes.
Pierre-Olivier Duroy, Xavier Perrier, Nathalie Laboureau, Jean-Pierre Jacquemoud-Collet, Marie-Line Iskra-Caruana, 2016, ' How endogenous plant pararetroviruses shed light on Musa evolution ', Annals of Botany, vol. 117, no. 4, pp. 625-641 http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcw011