Marker-assisted breeding of Musa balbisiana genitors devoid of infectious endogenous Banana streak virus sequences
Breeding new interspecific banana hybrid varieties relies on the use of Musa acuminata and M. balbisiana parents. Unfortunately, infectious alleles of endogenous Banana streak virus (eBSV) sequences are present in the genome of Musa balbisiana genitors. Upon activation by biotic and abiotic stresses, these infectious eBSVs lead to spontaneous infections by several species of Banana streak virus in interspecific hybrids harboring both Musa acuminata and M. balbisiana genomes. Here we provide evidence that seedy M. balbisiana diploids display diverse eBSV allelic combinations and that some eBSVs differ structurally from those previously reported. We also show that segregation of infectious and non-infectious eBSV alleles can be achieved in seedy M. balbisiana diploids through self-pollination or chromosome doubling of haploid lines. We report on the successful breeding of M. balbisiana diploid genitors devoid of all infectious eBSV alleles following self-pollination and on the potential of breeding additional M. balbisiana diploid genitors free of infectious eBSVs by crossing parents displaying complementary eBSV patterns. Our work paves the way to the safe use of M. balbisiana genitors for breeding banana interspecific hybrid varieties with no risk of activation of infectious eBSVs.