Common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) is a major legume crop, serving as a main source of dietary protein and calories and generating income for many Tanzanians. It is produced in nearly all agro-ecological zones of Tanzania. However, the average yields are low (<1000 kg/ha), which is attributed to many factors including virus diseases. The most important viruses of common bean in Tanzania are Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) and Bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV) but other viruses have also been reported. There has never been a review of common bean virus diseases in the country, and the lack of collated information makes their management difficult. Therefore, this review focuses on (1) occurrence of different viruses of common bean in Tanzania, (2) molecular characterization of these viruses, (3) detection tools for common bean viruses in Tanzania and (4) available options for managing virus diseases in the country. Literature and nucleotide sequence database searches revealed that common bean diseases are inadequately studied and that their causal viruses have not been adequately characterized at the molecular level in Tanzania. Increased awareness on common bean virus diseases in Tanzania is expected to result into informed development of strategies for management of the same and thus increased production, which in turn has implication on nutrition and income.
Key words: Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), Bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV), common bean viruses, Tanzania, virus molecular detection.
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