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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Research Project #432032

Research Project: Understanding and Preventing Seed Transmission of Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) in Africa

Location: Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research

Project Number: 5082-22000-001-02-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 1, 2016
End Date: May 22, 2019

Objective:
Determine the rate of Maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) transmission through maize seed, and develop methods for assessing the potential for seed transmission of the virus. The project has three goals: 1) Develop materials and protocols for assessing MCMV transmission through seed; 2) Determine the rates of transmission for Hawaiian and East African isolates of MCMV in U.S. and African maize germplasm; and 3) Understand the distribution of MCMV in maize seed, and the potential for seed treatments reduce MCMV transmission through seed.

Approach:
Seed from maize plants infected with Hawaiian (MCMV-HI) or East African (MCMV-EA) isolates will be produced by collaborators, and will include both East African and U.S. inbred lines. We will test the accuracy and sensitivity of current diagnostic assays (ELISA and RT-PCR) for detecting MCMV-KS (Kansas isolate), MCMV-HI and MCMV-EA, and determine if maize seed tissues produce any interference with these assays. This information will be used to select the best diagnostic approach for further experiments. We will then compare MCMV seed transmission rates measured in seed, seedling growouts and germinating embryos. The rate of MCMV transmission through seed will be assessed for two MCMV isolates in two U.S. and two East African inbred lines using either a seedling grow out or seed germination protocol and compared with levels of seed infestation with MCMV. As resources allow, we will determine distribution of MCMV in contaminated seed and investigate the effects of seed treatments on MCMV transmission through seed.