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On the Control of the Invasive Banana Bunchy Top Disease in Africa: Lessons from a Conciliate Interaction

Omondi A.B., Wessels N., Krüger K., Jooste A.E.C., Ajambo S., Staver C., Kumar L., Iskra Caruana M.L., Caruana M.L., Iskra M.L., Niyongere C., Mobambo P., Dheda B., Soko S., Tachin M., Akinyemi S.O.S., Mvila A., Hanna R., Mathieu Y., Nshirimana T.. 2017. In : Omondi Aman Bonaventure (ed.), Kekeunou Sévilor (ed.), Ouali-N¿goran Mauricette (ed.), Salah Faiza Elgaili Elhassan (ed.), Tanga Mbi Chrysantus (ed.), Getu Emana (ed.), Zanou Elisabeth (ed.), Ayelo Pascal (ed.). Livre des résumés de la 22ème Réunion et Conférence de l¿Association Africaine des Entomologistes : ¿Vers une amélioration du bien-être humain grâce à la gestion de la diversité des insectes dans un monde en mutation¿. Wad Medani : AAIS, p. 28-29. 22nd Meeting and Conference of the African Association of Insect Scientists, 2017-10-23/2017-10-26, Wad Medani (Soudan).

Controlling an invasive species, in Agriculture, is a context variable activity, borrowing the technical advances of numerous sciences, including the insect sciences. The Banana bunchy top disease (BBTD), caused by the bunchy top virus (BBTV), is spread between regions through planting infected suckers and locally by the banana aphid feeding off infected plants. It is present in 16 countries in Sub Saharan Africa; and causes accelerating production losses and reduced access to clean seed. Although yield decline is more rapid in some cultivars, none is resistant. Our work towards recovery of banana production in nine BBTD-affected sites in eight countries; thus includes a cross talk between different natural sciences, social sciences and policy studies, relying on existing knowledge and technologies: reliable clean seed supply system and tactics to reduce re-infection pressure, vector entomology, virus detection, epidemiology, imaging and mapping. We developed a non-intrusive DNA extraction methods and used it to amplify the mtCOI gene to differentiate the two species of banana aphids, Pentalonia nigronervosa and P. caladii while preserving voucher specimens for morphological studies. ELISA, key diagnostic approach should be supplemented by early symptom recognition. We also studied cropping systems and banana diversity as potential options and indicators of long term BBTD control, as varieties showed different attractiveness to the vector and human preferences. Seed systems studies revealed that clean seed systems (like other control approaches) need to incorporate diversity, vector, human behaviour and policy. BBTD is a spreading invasive disease, a potential model in regional invasive species management. What then is our role as Insect Scientists working in this region in limiting of the spread of BBTD? How can we foster an interplay between entomology, ecology, other natural scientists, social sciences and regulatory services and the private sector to prevent its spread to the banana growing areas in Africa. (Résumé d'auteur)

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