Date: 08 Aug 2012

Thermotherapy, Chemotherapy, and Meristem Culture in Banana

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Abstract

Bananas that provide a staple food to the millions of people are adversely affected by several viruses such as Banana bunchy Top Virus (BBTV), Banana Streak Virus (BSV), and Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV). These viruses are known to have a devastating effect on crop production and constraint to the international exchange and conservation of banana germplasm—a cornerstone for breeding new cultivars. The viruses are particularly problematic in vegetative propagated crops, like bananas, because of their transmission in the planting material. Different virus eradication techniques have been developed, such as thermotherapy, chemotherapy, and meristem culture for providing virus-free planting material. Meristem culture proved to be the most effective procedure to eradicate phloem-associated viruses. This method requires isolation of meristematic dome of plant under the aseptic conditions and culture in an appropriate nutrient medium to develop new virus-free plants. Thermotherapy is another widely used virus eradication technique, which is initially carried out on in vivo or in vitro plants and eventually combined with meristem culture technique. The plantlets are initially grown at 28°C day temperature and increase it by 2°C per day until reaches 40°C and the night temperature at 28°C; maintain plants at 40°C for 4 weeks; excise meristem and culture onto the regeneration medium. In chemotherapy technique, antiviral chemical compound Virazole® is applied on meristem culture. Combination of these techniques is also applied to improve the eradication rate.