How endogenous plant pararetroviruses shed light on Musa evolution

Ann Bot. 2016 Apr;117(4):625-41. doi: 10.1093/aob/mcw011. Epub 2016 Mar 12.


Background and aims: Banana genomes harbour numerous copies of viral sequences derived from banana streak viruses (BSVs) - dsDNA viruses belonging to the family Caulimoviridae.These viral integrants (eBSVs) are mostly defective, probably as a result of 'pseudogenization' driven by host genome evolution. However, some can give rise to infection by releasing a functional viral genome following abiotic stresses. These distinct infective eBSVs correspond to the three main widespread BSV species (BSOLV, BSGFV and BSIMV), fully described within the Musa balbisiana B genomes of the seedy diploid 'Pisang Klutuk Wulung' (PKW).

Methods: We characterize eBSV distribution among a Musa sampling including seedy BB diploids and interspecific hybrids with Musa acuminate exhibiting different levels of ploidy for the B genome (ABB, AAB, AB). We used representative samples of the two areas of sympatry between M. acuminate and M. balbisiana species representing the native area of the most widely cultivated AAB cultivars (in India and in East Asia, ranging from the Philippines to New Guinea). Seventy-seven accessions were characterized using eBSV-related PCR markers and Southern hybridization approaches. We coded both sets of results to create a common dissimilarity matrix with which to interpret eBSV distribution.

Key results: We propose a Musa phylogeny driven by the M. balbisiana genome based on a dendrogram resulting from a joint neighbour-joining analysis of the three BSV species, showing for the first time lineages between BB and ABB/AAB hybrids. eBSVs appear to be relevant phylogenetic markers that can illustrate theM. balbisiana phylogeography story.

Conclusion: The theoretical implications of this study for further elucidation of the historical and geographical process of Musa domestication are numerous. Discovery of banana plants with B genome non-infective for eBSV opens the way to the introduction of new genitors in programmes of genetic banana improvement.

Keywords: Musa balbisiana; Musa sp.; banana streak virus (BSV); dissimilarity matrix; endogenous pararetrovirus (EPRV); evolution; genetic markers; microsatellite; phylogeny; ploidy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution*
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Diploidy
  • Ecotype
  • Endogenous Retroviruses / physiology*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genotype
  • Musa / genetics
  • Musa / virology*
  • Phylogeny