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Viruses in Maize and Johnsongrass in Southern Ohio

December 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  12
Pages  1,360 - 1,369

L. R. Stewart, R. Teplier, J. C. Todd, M. W. Jones, B. J. Cassone, S. Wijeratne, A. Wijeratne, and M. G. Redinbaugh

First, third, fourth, fifth, and eighth authors: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services, Corn, Soybean and Wheat Quality Research Unit, Wooster, OH; first and eighth authors: The Ohio State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Wooster; second author: University of Avignon, Avignon, France; and sixth and seventh authors: The Ohio State University, Molecular and Cellular Imaging Center, Wooster.

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Accepted for publication 2 June 2014.

The two major U.S. maize viruses, Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) and Maize chlorotic dwarf virus (MCDV), emerged in southern Ohio and surrounding regions in the 1960s and caused significant losses. Planting resistant varieties and changing cultural practices has dramatically reduced virus impact in subsequent decades. Current information on the distribution, diversity, and impact of known and potential U.S. maize disease-causing viruses is lacking. To assess the current reservoir of viruses present at the sites of past disease emergence, we used a combination of serological testing and next-generation RNA sequencing approaches. Here, we report enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and RNA-Seq data from samples collected over 2 years to assess the presence of viruses in cultivated maize and an important weedy reservoir, Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense). Results revealed a persistent reservoir of MDMV and two strains of MCDV in Ohio Johnsongrass. We identified sequences of several other grass-infecting viruses and confirmed the presence of Wheat mosaic virus in Ohio maize. Together, these results provide important data for managing virus disease in field corn and sweet corn maize crops, and identifying potential future virus threats.

This article is in the public domain and not copyrightable. It may be freely reprinted with customary crediting of the source. The American Phytopathological Society, 2014.