Effect of environment and cultivar on the expression of banana streak disease symptoms in Kenya

  • Laura Karanja
  • Anne Wangai
  • Ram Sumer Pathak
  • Glyn Harper


Banana (Musa spp.) is grown for subsistence and income generation by 80% of small scale farmers all year round in Kenya hence it is an important food security crop. However viral diseases such as banana streak disease (BSD), caused by Banana streak virus, hamper the production of the crop. BSV has been reported to be present in all the commercial banana cultivars in Kenya. Tissue culture materials of 15 cultivars were evaluated for BSV expression so as to determine the tolerant cultivars under field and greenhouse conditions and stages of disease expression. A number of factors including plant age, cultivar, season and growth site were investigated in the greenhouse and field to assess their effect on BSD symptom expression. Statistical analysis system (SAS) for ANOVA was used for analysis of data for the experiments. Results indicated that BSD symptom expression is significantly influenced by all the factors under investigation. Significant correlation was also observed between symptom severity and plant height, girth, and number of leaves. Findings of this study will be invaluable to stakeholders and researchers in banana industry by laying a foundation for development and adoption of viable BSD management strategies.

Keywords: Banana streak virus, Banana streak disease, symptoms expression, tissue culture, ELISA

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(16), pp. 1999-2005

Author Biographies

Laura Karanja
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Njoro, P.O. Njoro, Kenya
Anne Wangai
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute, Biotechnology Program, P.O. Box 14733, NARL, Nairobi, Kenya.
Ram Sumer Pathak
Department of Crops, Horticulture and Soil, Egerton University P.O. Njoro, Kenya.
Glyn Harper
Department of Disease and Stress Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich NR4 7UH, UK.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315