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Evaluation of Maize Streak Virus Pathogenicity in Differentially Resistant Zea mays Genotypes

August 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  8
Pages  695 - 700

D. P. Martin , J. A. Willment , and E. P. Rybicki

Microbiology Department, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch, Western Cape, South Africa 7701

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Accepted for publication 7 May 1999.

We devised a rapid technique for the objective and precise assessment of both the pathogenicity of maize streak virus (MSV) isolates and the MSV resistance of maize genotypes. The technique involves the use of agroinoculation to infect maize seedlings and the objective symptom evaluation by quantification of infection rates, stunting, and chlorotic leaf areas. In assessing the MSV resistance of 19 maize genotypes, we describe how the use of differentially virulent virus isolates enables the analysis of MSV resistance phenotypes, ranging from extremely susceptible to completely immune. We further demonstrate how quantification of chlorotic leaf areas by image analysis permits differentiation between degrees of MSV resistance that are indistinguishable from one another using currently employed symptom assessment approaches. Using chlorotic area measurements, we quantify the virulence of a diverse group of 10 MSV isolates and, through agroinoculation of differentially susceptible maize genotypes, we demonstrate the use of our technique in evaluating the pathogenicity of these isolates.

Additional keywords: breeding, maize streak disease.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society