CRISPR/Cas9 editing of endogenous banana streak virus in the B genome of Musa spp. overcomes a major challenge in banana breeding.
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Presence of the integrated endogenous banana streak virus (eBSV) in the B genome of plantain (AAB) is a major challenge for breeding and dissemination of hybrids. As the eBSV activates into infectious viral particles under stress, the progenitor Musa balbisiana and its derivants, having at least one B genome, cannot be used as parents for crop improvement. Here, we report a strategy to inactivate the eBSV by editing the virus sequences. The regenerated genome-edited events of Gonja Manjaya showed mutations in the targeted sites with the potential to prevent proper transcription or/and translational into functional viral proteins. Seventy-five percent of the edited events remained asymptomatic in comparison to the non-edited control plants under water stress conditions, confirming inactivation of eBSV into infectious viral particles. This study paves the way for the improvement of B genome germplasm and its use in breeding programs to produce hybrids that can be globally disseminated.
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