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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #296707

Title: Viruses in maize and Johnsongrass in southern Ohio

item Stewart, Lucy
item TEPLIER, RACHELE - The Ohio State University
item Todd, Jane
item Jones, Mark
item Cassone, Bryan
item WIJERATNE, SARANGA - The Ohio State University
item WIJERATNE, ASELA - The Ohio State University
item Redinbaugh, Margaret - Peg

Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/2/2014
Publication Date: 12/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Stewart, L.R., Teplier, R., Todd, J.C., Jones, M.W., Cassone, B.J., Wijeratne, S., Wijeratne, A., Redinbaugh, M.G. 2014. Viruses in maize and Johnsongrass in southern Ohio. Phytopathology. 104:1360-1369.

Interpretive Summary: According to the most recent reports, there are two major corn viruses in the United States: Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) and Maize chlorotic dwarf virus (MCDV). Both of these viruses were originally described and isolated in southern Ohio, and were a major problem in the 1960s-1970s. The most recent examinations of virus prevalence date back to this time. Control measures, including reducing the overwintering weed harboring virus, Johnsongrass, and planting virus-resistant corn varieties, have been implemented in subsequent decades. We returned to original sites of corn virus disease problems in southern Ohio and tested for the presence of MDMV and MCDV in corn and Johnsongrass near cornfields to determine the the current distribution of the viruses. We found both viruses in Johnsongrass at all locations and MDMV in sweet corn, but very little virus in field corn. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we also identified plant virus sequences in both corn and Johnsongrass, revealing sequences matching multiple other viruses that may be present in Ohio. Together, our results show the presence of corn-infecting viruses in Ohio and provide useful information for disease and risk management.

Technical Abstract: Two major maize viruses in the United States, Maize dwarf mosaic virus and Maize chlorotic dwarf virus, were first described in Southern Ohio and surrounding regions in the 1960s when they were major problems in maize (Zea mays L.) production. Planting resistant varieties and changing cultural practices has dramatically reduced virus impact, but current information on the distribution, diversity, and impact of these viruses has been lacking. Here, we report survey data collected over two years assessing the presence/absence of MDMV and MCDV in cultivated maize and their weedy reservoir, Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.) Pers.). Next generation sequencing of RNA collected from Johnsongrass and maize revealed virus sequences present in both sample sets and the diversity of monocot viruses present in cultivated maize and in a common reservoir plant.