Arch Virol (2001) 146: 1369–1379
Molecular characterisation of Banana mild mosaic virus,
a new ﬁlamentous virus in Musa spp.
C. F. Gambley and J. E. Thomas
Queensland Horticulture Institute, Department of Primary Industries,
Indooroopilly, Queensland, Australia
Accepted February 28, 2001
Summary. Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV) is a previously undescribed
ﬁlamentous virus infecting Musa spp. The complete genome has been sequenced
from PCR clones and consists of 7352 nucleotides, encoding ﬁve open reading
frames (ORFs) of 205, 25.5, 12.4, 8.0 and 26.8 kDa, respectively. BanMMV was
most closely related to fovea- and carlaviruses, based on phylogenetic analysis
using a portion of the viral replicase. Analysis of other parts of the genome
revealed similarities with fovea-, carla- and potexviruses, but the virus was not
clearly aligned to any previously recognised genus.
Bananas and plantains (Musa spp.) are important food crops throughout the trop-
ical and sub-tropical areas of the world. The crop is vegetatively propagated and
virus-free planting material is essential both for disease control and for the distri-
bution of germplasm for breeding and evaluation programs. Recently, previously
unrecognised ﬁlamentous virions have been observed during indexing of Musa
germplasm and in ﬁeld plants . The name Banana mild mosaic (BanMMV)
was proposed for this new virus, based on the symptoms exhibited in the cv.
Ducasse (Musa spp. ABB group, syn. Pisang Awak; ).
BanMMV was distinct from the only other ﬁlamentous viruses known from
Musa spp., Abaca mosaic virus and Banana bract mosaic virus. Negative results
were obtained using potyvirus group degenerate PCR primers and monoclonal
antibodies (unpublished results), so BanMMV was assumed not to be a potyvirus.
Members of several genera, including Potexvirus, Carlavirus, Foveavirus, and
The GenBank accession number for the sequence reported in this paper is AF314662.