Field and laboratory studies were conducted to determine the impact of using a herbicide as a bananacide on aphid transmission of Banana bunchy top virus (family Nanoviridae, genus Babuvirus, BBTV) to healthy banana (Musa spp.) plants. BBTV-infected banana plants in a commercial orchard were treated with Roundup Weathermax herbicide. Using polymerase chain reaction, the time after herbicide treatment that BBTV could no longer be detected in the infected plants was determined. The impact of the herbicide treatment on Pentalonia nigronervosa Coquerel (Hemiptera: Aphididae) virus acquisition and ability to inoculate healthy banana plants with BBTV also were determined. Generally, banana plants were dead beyond 42 d after herbicide injection (DAI), and BBTV was detected in a similar high percentage of treated plants from 0 up to 21 DAI. During two field trials, 0 and 32% of P. nigronervosa acquired the virus from treated plants at 42 DAI, respectively, but none successfully inoculated a healthy banana plant beyond 35 DAI. Finally, 22% of P. nigronervosa colonies collected directly from the pseudostem of injected plants at the final sample date (42 DAI) tested positive for BBTV and infected 9.5% of the healthy banana plants. The findings indicate that banana plants may remain a potential source of virus inoculum 6 wk after injection with a bananacide. The implications of these findings with respect to BBTV management are discussed.
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Vol. 102 • No. 2