Molecular Characterization of Geographically Different Banana bunchy top virus Isolates in India
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Banana bunchy top disease (BBTD) caused by Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) is one of the most devastating diseases of banana and poses a serious threat for cultivars like Hill Banana (Syn: Virupakshi) and Grand Naine in India. In this study, we have cloned and sequenced the complete genome comprised of six DNA components of BBTV infecting Hill Banana grown in lower Pulney hills, Tamil Nadu State, India. The complete genome sequence of this hill banana isolate showed high degree of similarity with the corresponding sequences of BBTV isolates originating from Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh State, India, and from Fiji, Egypt, Pakistan, and Australia. In addition, sixteen coat protein (CP) and thirteen replicase genes (Rep) sequences of BBTV isolates collected from different banana growing states of India were cloned and sequenced. The replicase sequences of 13 isolates showed high degree of similarity with that of South Pacific group of BBTV isolates. However, the CP gene of BBTV isolates from Shervroy and Kodaikanal hills of Tamil Nadu showed higher amino acid sequence variability compared to other isolates. Another hill banana isolate from Meghalaya state had 23 nucleotide substitutions in the CP gene but the amino acid sequence was conserved. This is the first report of the characterization of a complete genome of BBTV occurring in the high altitudes of India. Our study revealed that the Indian BBTV isolates with distinct geographical origins belongs to the South Pacific group, except Shervroy and Kodaikanal hill isolates which neither belong to the South Pacific nor the Asian group.
KeywordsBanana bunchy top virus Babuvirus Nanoviridae South Pacific PCR Hill Banana
We thank the Department of Biotechnology, India for partial funding the project and the Director, National Research Centre for Banana, Trichy, India for facilitating this study. We also thank Dr. J. E. Thomas, Senior Principal Plant Virologist, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Australia for his critical comments for improving the manuscript.
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