Link to home

Brome mosaic virus reduces wheat yield in both early and late growth stage infections

Brian Hodge: The Ohio State University

<div><em>Brome mosaic virus</em> (BMV) is a cereal virus of global distribution that is reported to have little economic impact on wheat production. BMV was detected in 25 of 107 Ohio wheat fields surveyed between 2012 and 2017, highlighting the need to assess its potential impact. Field trials were conducted in the 2016 and 2017 growing seasons, in which wheat cultivars were tested for responses to BMV when inoculated at the 2-leaf, 5-leaf, flag leaf emergence, or boot growth stages. Three out of four cultivars were susceptible to infection at all inoculated growth stages, with BMV inducing yield loss of up to 61% compared to the non-inoculated controls. The main and interaction effects of cultivar and inoculation timing on grain yield were statistically significant (p<0.05). The magnitude of yield loss varied among cultivars and inoculation timings. In contrast to reports with other cereal viruses, BMV induced up to 26.5 and 36.4% yield reduction when inoculated at flag leaf emergence and boot, respectively. Most inoculated treatments reduced test weight and kernel weight, but only inoculation at the 2-leaf growth stage reduced plant population and height. This research demonstrates that BMV infection impacts wheat development, grain yield and quality, but the magnitude of these effects depends on inoculation timing and cultivar. This suggests that BMV can have a substantial economic impact on wheat production, and more research is needed to develop management practices.</div>