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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Redinbaugh, Margaret - Peg
item Seifers, Dallas
item Abt, John
item Anderson, Robert
item Styer, William
item Ackerman, James
item Meulia, Tea
item Houghton, Wes
item Gordon, Donald
item Hogenhout, Saskia

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/18/2002
Publication Date: 1/12/2002
Citation: Redinbaugh, M.G., Seifers, D.L., Abt, J.J., Anderson, R.J., Styer, W., Ackerman, J., Meulia, T., Houghton, W., Gordon, D.T., Hogenhout, S. 2002. Maize fine streak virus, a new leafhopper-transmitted rhabdovirus. Phytopathology. 92:1167-1174.

Interpretive Summary: As part of our mission to protect the U.S. corn crop from virus diseases, scientists in the Corn and Soybean Research Group try to identify and characterize emerging viruses that infect maize before they become agricultural problems. The knowledge we gain about these exotic or emerging virus diseases allows researchers to devise disease control strategies for the corn seed industry and producers that may prevent economically harmful outbreaks of the disease. Two years ago, we isolated a previously unknown virus from corn samples collected in Georgia. Because of the vascular puncture inoculation technology we developed, we could transmit and maintain the virus in culture. We characterized the new virus and developed an antiserum and serological assay for the virus. Based on the symptoms the virus produced in infected maize, we named it Maize fine streak virus or MFSV. The virus is transmitted by the black-faced leafhopper, an insect that is found in most of the Eastern half of the US. Because the vector has a wide distribution, there is a potential for spread of the virus disease outside of Georgia. Researchers, extension specialists and producers can use a serological assay we developed to confirm the identity of MFSV in symptomatic maize.

Technical Abstract: An undescribed virus was isolated from fall-planted sweetcorn (Zea mays L., Syngenta GSS 0966) leaves showing fine chlorotic streaks and presumed to be infected with Sugarcane mosaic virus-Maize dwarf mosaic virus B. Symptomatic plants were negative in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against many maize viruses, but did have some reactivity with antisera to Sorghum stunt mosaic virus. The virus was readily transmitted by vascular puncture inoculation (VPI), but not by leaf-rub inoculation. Symptoms on maize included fine chlorotic streaks along secondary and tertiary veins that developed 12-17 days post-VPI and dwarfing. The isolated virus was bacilliform (231+/-5 nm long and 71+/-2nm wide), with a knobby surface and obvious helical structure typical of rhabdovirus morphology. Nucleorhabdovirus virions were observed by transmission electron microscopy of sections through infected maize leaf tissue. Proteins unique to infected plants were observed in extracts of infected leaves and the isolated virion contained 3 proteins with molecular weights 82+/-2, 50+/-3 and 32+/-2 kDa. Preliminary sequence analysis suggests similarity with members of the family Rhabdoviridae. The virus was transmitted by Graminella nigrifons under persistent conditions. The data indicate the virus is a new species in the genera Nucleorhabdovirus.

Last Modified: 08/21/2017
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