First report of banana bunchy top disease caused by Banana bunchy top virus in Uganda


In August 2020, banana plants with characteristic symptoms of banana bunchy top disease (BBTD) caused by the Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) were observed on two different banana (Musa sp.) mats in backyard gardens in Arua City (GPS coordinates: 2o59’36’’N 30o54’40’’E), West Nile region of Uganda. The plants were severely stunted with short, narrow leaves, chlorotic leaf margins and dark green streaks on petioles and midribs. The affected plants had a rosette-like or bunchy and choked appearance (Figures 1–2). A PCR using specific primers that amplify a 240 bp conserved domain of the BBTV DNA-mRep segment (Mansoor et al., 2005) confirmed the presence of BBTV in leaf, pseudostem and corm samples of the two symptomatic plants. The PCR product from one of the samples was purified and reverse sequenced (GenBank Accession No. OK066320). This sequence showed 98–99% nucleotide sequence identity with multiple BBTV isolates from India (e.g., KX219591, GU085264), Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo; e.g. KU687085, KU687070, KU687068), Benin (e.g. JQ437548), Burundi (e.g. JN204198), Australia (e.g. KM607586), USA (Hawaii; e.g., KM607599) and other African and South Pacific countries. To our knowledge, this constitutes the first report of BBTD in Uganda.



aphid vector, Pentalonia nigronervosa, planting material


Ocimati, W., Tazuba, A.F.,Tushemereirwe, W.K., Tugume, J., Omondi, B.A., Acema, al. (2021) First report of banana bunchy top disease caused by Banana bunchy top virus in Uganda. New Dis Rep, 44, e12052.