Bamboo Mosaic Virus (BaMV)

California Pest Rating for 
Bamboo Mosaic Virus (BaMV)
Pest Rating:  B

Initiating Event: 


History & Status:

BackgroundBamboo mosaic virus was originally isolated from two species of bamboo, Bambusa multiplex and B. vulgaris, in Brasilia, Brazil and reported as a new virus as well as the first virus identified infecting bamboo plants.  No evidence of spread in Brazil was observed outside the original site. (Lin et al., 1977).  Since then, the virus pathogen has also been reported from the Pacific islands, Taiwan, Australia, the Philippines, and the USA.  In the USA, Bamboo mosaic virus was first reported from San Diego, California, in Beechey bamboo plants growing in the San Diego Zoo (Lin et al., 1995).  During April 2014, BaMV was detected in bamboo growing in San Diego Botanic Garden.  This detection was made by the CDFA Plant Pathology Laboratory.   The pathogen is reported to have been tentatively diagnosed in a Bambusa sp. sample in Florida during the 1980s, although bamboo enthusiasts in Florida claim to have observed virus-like symptoms in the collections prior to the 1980s (Elliott & Zettler, 1996). The pathogen has also been reported from Hawaii in B. vulgaris (Nelson & Borth, 2011).

Bamboo mosaic virus is a plant pathogenic virus in the genus Potexvirus within the family Potexvirus.

Hosts: Bamboo is the natural host.  Ten species of bamboo are included namely, Bambusa beecheyana, B. beecheyana cv. pubescens, B. edulis, B. multiplex, B. oldhamii, B. vulgaris, B.vulgaris var. striata, Dendrocalamus latiflorus, D. latiflorus cv. ‘Mei-nung’, Phyllostachys nigra.  Experimental susceptible plants include Gomphrena globosa, Chenopodium amaranticolor, Bambusa vulgaris ‘Vittata’, and Dendrocalamus latiflorus cv. ‘Mei-nung’ (Brunt et al., 1996 onwards).

Symptoms: Bamboo mosaic virus-infected bamboo plants may exhibit chlorotic mosaic and mottling patterns running parallel to the leaf veins, necrotic streaks on shoots and culms, vascular discoloration, aborted stems and death of plants.  Symptoms may be mild or subtle in some infected plants (Brunt et al., 1996; Nelson & Borth, 2011).

Damage PotentialBamboo mosaic virus can affect growth and stand of infected bamboo plants.  While quantitative crop loss values have not been reported, the pathogen has the potential to cause losses in production and is considered a threat to the bamboo industry in Taiwan (Lin et al., 1993).  In California, mainly nursery, private and commercial cultivations of bamboo in public parks, landscapes, and gardens are at risk of reductions in healthy stands if infected with BaMV.  Furthermore, once established, the disease cannot be eradicated without destroying infected plants (Nelson & Borth, 2011).

Transmission: Bamboo mosaic virus is mechanically transmitted to non-infected bamboo cultivars.  Contaminated cultivation tools and infected BaMV bamboo plants are a means for spreading the virus.  Transmission does not involve an insect vector.

Worldwide Distribution:  Asia: Philippines, Taiwan; North America: USA; South America: Brazil; Australia: Queensland, Western Australia (Brunt et al., 1996 onwards; Dodman & Thomas, 1999; Elliot & Zettler, 1996; Lin et al., 1977; Lin et al., 1993, 1995)

Official Control: Bamboo mosaic virus is on the ‘Harmful Organism List’ for Costa Rica, French Polynesia, Georgia, India, Japan, and New Zealand (PCIT, 2015).  Currently, BaMV has a temporary Q rating in California.

California Distribution: San Diego, San Diego County.

California Interceptions There are no records of BaMV detected in incoming plant shipments to California.

The risk Bamboo mosaic virus would pose to California is evaluated below.

Consequences of Introduction: 

1) Climate/Host Interaction: Evaluate if the pest would have suitable hosts and climate to establish in California. Score:

– Low (1) Not likely to establish in California; or likely to establish in very limited areas.

– Medium (2) may be able to establish in a larger but limited part of California.

– High (3) likely to establish a widespread distribution in California.

Risk is Medium (2) – Bamboo mosaic virus is likely to establish within California wherever bamboo is grown in southern and northern regions of the State.

2) Known Pest Host Range: Evaluate the host range of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) has a very limited host range.

– Medium (2) has a moderate host range.

– High (3) has a wide host range.

Risk is Low (1) – The host range is limited to bamboo – the natural host. Ten species of bamboo are included namely, Bambusa beecheyana, B. beecheyana cv. pubescens, B. edulis, B. multiplex, B. oldhamii, B. vulgaris, B.vulgaris var. striata, Dendrocalamus latiflorus, D. latiflorus cv. ‘Mei-nung’, Phyllostachys nigra.

3) Pest Dispersal Potential: Evaluate the natural and artificial dispersal potential of the pest. Score:

– Low (1) does not have high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– Medium (2) has either high reproductive or dispersal potential.

– High (3) has both high reproduction and dispersal potential.

Risk is Medium (2) – Bamboo mosaic virus increases rapidly within infected bamboo plants and can be spread to new non-infected sites through movement of infected plants.  The virus is also mechanically transmitted through infected cultivation tools such as those used in pruning.  It is not spread by an insect or other biological vector.

4) Economic Impact: Evaluate the economic impact of the pest to California using the criteria below. Score:

A.  The pest could lower crop yield.

B.  The pest could lower crop value (includes increasing crop production costs).

C.  The pest could trigger the loss of markets (includes quarantines).

D.  The pest could negatively change normal cultural practices.

E.  The pest can vector, or is vectored, by another pestiferous organism.

F.  The organism is injurious or poisonous to agriculturally important animals.

G.  The organism can interfere with the delivery or supply of water for agricultural uses.

– Low (1) causes 0 or 1 of these impacts.

– Medium (2) causes 2 of these impacts.

– High (3) causes 3 or more of these impacts.

Risk is High (3) – Infections by Bamboo mosaic virus could lower crop yield and value, increase production costs due to removal and replacement of diseased plants, and trigger loss of domestic and international markets.  In particular, nurseries could be negatively affected by losses in production and sale.

5) Environmental Impact: Evaluate the environmental impact of the pest on California using the criteria below.

A.  The pest could have a significant environmental impact such as lowering biodiversity, disrupting natural communities, or changing ecosystem processes.

B.  The pest could directly affect threatened or endangered species.

C.  The pest could impact threatened or endangered species by disrupting critical habitats.

D.  The pest could trigger additional official or private treatment programs.

E.  The pest significantly impacts cultural practices, home/urban gardening or ornamental plantings.

Score the pest for Environmental Impact. Score:

– Low (1) causes none of the above to occur.

– Medium (2) causes one of the above to occur.

– High (3) causes two or more of the above to occur.

Risk is Medium (2) – In California, bamboo is mainly grown in specialty nurseries, public parks, landscapes, and garden environments.  Healthy bamboo stands in such environments could be significantly impacted if infected with Bamboo mosaic virus.

Consequences of Introduction to California for Bamboo mosaic virus

Add up the total score and include it here. (Score)

-Low = 5-8 points

-Medium = 9-12 points

-High = 13-15 points

Total points obtained on evaluation of consequences of introduction of BaMV to California = (10).

6) Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information: Evaluate the known distribution in California. Only official records identified by a taxonomic expert and supported by voucher specimens deposited in natural history collections should be considered. Pest incursions that have been eradicated, are under eradication, or have been delimited with no further detections should not be included. (Score)

-Not established (0) Pest never detected in California, or known only from incursions.

-Low (-1) Pest has a localized distribution in California, or is established in one suitable climate/host area (region).

-Medium (-2) Pest is widespread in California but not fully established in the endangered area, or pest established in two contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

-High (-3) Pest has fully established in the endangered area, or pest is reported in more than two contiguous or non-contiguous suitable climate/host areas.

Evaluation is Low (-1).  Presently, Bamboo mosaic virus is established in San Diego, California.  

Final Score:

7) The final score is the consequences of introduction score minus the post entry distribution and survey information score: (Score)

Final Score:  Score of Consequences of Introduction – Score of Post Entry Distribution and Survey Information = 9.



Conclusion and Rating Justification:

Based on the evidence provided above the proposed rating for Bamboo mosaic virus is B.


Brunt, A.A., K. Crabtree, M. J. Dallwitz, A. J. Gibbs, L.Watson, and E. J. Zurcher (eds.). (1996 onwards). `Plant Viruses Online: Descriptions and Lists from the VIDE Database. Version: 20th August 1996.’ URL

CABI.  2015.  Bamboo mosaic virus datasheet (basic). Crop Protection Compendium.

Dodman, R.L., and J. E. Thomas. 1999. The first record of Bamboo mosaic potexvirus from Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 28:337337.

Elliot, M.S., and F. W. Zettler. 1996. Bamboo mosaic virus detected in ornamental bamboo species in Florida.  Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society 109:2425.

Lin, M. T., E. W. Kitajima, F. P. Cupertino, and C. L. Costa.  1977.  Partial purification and some properties of Bamboo mosaic virus.  Phytopathology 67:1439-1443.

Lin, N. -S., Y.-J. Chai, T. -Y. Chang, and Y. -H. Hsu.  1993.  Incidence of Bamboo mosaic potexvirus in Taiwan.  Plant Disease 77:448-450.

Lin, N. –S., B. –Y. Lin, T. –Y. Yeh, and Y. -H. Hsu.  1995.  First report of Bamboo mosaic virus and its associated satellite RNA on bamboo in the U. S.  Plant Disease 79 (12):1249.

Nelson, S., and W. Borth.  Bamboo Mosaic.  2011.  College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Plant Disease September 2011 PD-76.

PCIT.  2014.  USDA Phytosanitary Certificate Issuance & Tracking System. .

Fazzio, D.  2015.  Bamboo.  Sonoma County Master Gardeners University of California. .

Responsible Party:

John J. Chitambar, Primary Plant Pathologist/Nematologist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, 3294 Meadowview Road, Sacramento, CA 95832. Phone: 916-262-1110,[@]

Pest Rating:  B

Posted by ls