Maize streak virus (streak disease of maize)
- Taxonomic Tree
- Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature
- Distribution Table
- Risk of Introduction
- Host Plants and Other Plants Affected
- Growth Stages
- List of Symptoms/Signs
- Biology and Ecology
- Plant Trade
- Detection and Inspection
- Similarities to Other Species/Conditions
- Prevention and Control
- Distribution Maps
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PicturesTop of page
IdentityTop of page
Preferred Scientific Name
- Maize streak virus
Preferred Common Name
- streak disease of maize
Other Scientific Names
- cereal African streak virus
- maize mottle virus Smith, 1957; Martyn, 1968
- maize streak monogeminivirus Storey (1925), Bock et al., 1974
- maize streak virus A McClean, 1947
- sugarcane streak virus Storey, 1925
- MSV000 (Maize streak mastrevirus)
Taxonomic TreeTop of page
- Domain: Virus
- Group: "ssDNA viruses"
- Group: "DNA viruses"
- Family: Geminiviridae
- Genus: Mastrevirus
- Species: Maize streak virus
Notes on Taxonomy and NomenclatureTop of page There has been confusion over the taxonomy of maize streak virus (MSV) with regard to synonyms and strains, mainly due to the geographical distribution and host range of the virus. Bock et al. (1974) distinguished three types of streak disease in Africa of geminivirus aetiology, namely viruses of maize, Panicum and sugarcane. Analysis of complete streak virus genome sequences has revealed that the viruses from sugarcane and Panicum share only ~63% identity with those from maize. These viruses have been assigned to the species Panicum streak virus (PanSV), Sugarcane streak virus (SSV), Sugarcane streak Egypt virus (SSEV) and Sugarcane streak Reunion virus (SSRV) (Briddon et al., 1992, 1996; Hughes et al., 1992; Bigarré et al., 1999). Digitaria streak virus from Vanuatu was originally also designated as a strain of MSV (Dollet et al., 1986) but after further characterization is now regarded as a separate species (Donson et al., 1987). Likewise, Bajra streak virus (BSV) from India has been described as a strain of MSV, but genomic sequence analysis is required before proper classification of this virus is possible.
Currently five tentative MSV strains have been described. All share greater than ~79% genomic sequence identity and it is possible that the strains may be split into three separate species. Only one of the strains (tentatively named MSV-A) produces severe disease symptoms in maize and all currently sequenced MSV-A isolates share greater than 95% genomic sequence identity with one another (Martin et al., 2001). MSV-B isolates (sharing ~89% genomic sequence identity with MSV-A isolates) have been isolated from a wide range of host species, including maize. They are, however, far less pathogenic in maize than MSV-A isolates. The described MSV-C, MSV-D and MSV-E isolates (sharing ~80% genomic sequence identity with MSV-A isolates) were respectively cloned from a Setaria sp., a Urochloa sp. and a Digitaria sp. and no information is currently available on their host ranges other than that all produce only mild streak symptoms in maize. Because only MSV-A poses any threat to maize production and the threat of the other strains to the cultivation of other crops is unknown, only MSV-A will be considered throughout the remainder of this data sheet.
DistributionTop of page
MSV is generally recognized as being endemic throughout sub-Saharan Africa. For further information, see reports by Fajemisin and Shoyinka (1976) and Rossel and Thottappilly (1985).
Bajra streak virus from India is sometimes referred to as a strain of MSV. It has not been fully characterized and distribution is unknown.
A record of MSV in the USA (EPPO, 2014) published in previous versions of the Compendium was based on a misinterpretation of a paper from Damsteegt (1980) and is now considered invalid. Neither MSV nor the main vector is known to occur in the Western Hemisphere (Damsteegt, 1980). MSV is a quarantine pest in the USA.
Distribution TableTop of page
The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.Last updated: 23 Apr 2020
|Continent/Country/Region||Distribution||Last Reported||Origin||First Reported||Invasive||Reference||Notes|
|Angola||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Benin||Present, Widespread||Conte (1974); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Botswana||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Burkina Faso||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Burundi||Present||Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Cameroon||Present, Widespread||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Central African Republic||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Congo, Democratic Republic of the||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Congo, Republic of the||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Egypt||Present, Widespread||Ammar (1975); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Eswatini||Present, Widespread||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Ethiopia||Present||Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Gabon||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Ghana||Present||McKinney (1929); Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Guinea||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Kenya||Present, Widespread||1936||Invasive||STOREY (1936); Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); IPPC-Secretariat (2005); EPPO (2020)|
|Madagascar||Present, Widespread||Brunt et al. (1990); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Malawi||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Mali||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Mauritius||Present, Widespread||Shepherd (1925); Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Mozambique||Present, Widespread||Carvalho (1948); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Niger||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Nigeria||Present, Widespread||ESENAM (1966); Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Réunion||Present, Widespread||Etienne and Rat (1973); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Rwanda||Present||Pinner et al. (1988); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Senegal||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Sierra Leone||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|South Africa||Present, Widespread||Fuller (1901); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Sudan||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Tanzania||Present, Widespread||STOREY (1936); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Togo||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Uganda||Present, Widespread||STOREY (1936); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|Zambia||Present||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Zimbabwe||Present, Widespread||CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020); CABI (Undated)|
|Yemen||Present||Brunt et al. (1990); CABI and EPPO (1997); EPPO (2020)|
|United States||Absent, Invalid presence record(s)||EPPO (2020)|
Risk of IntroductionTop of page There is no phytosanitary risk.
Host Plants and Other Plants AffectedTop of page
|Avena sativa (oats)||Poaceae||Other|
|Hordeum vulgare (barley)||Poaceae||Other|
|Saccharum officinarum (sugarcane)||Poaceae||Other|
|Secale cereale (rye)||Poaceae||Other|
|Sorghum bicolor (sorghum)||Poaceae||Main|
|Triticum aestivum (wheat)||Poaceae||Main|
|Zea mays (maize)||Poaceae||Main|
|Zea mays subsp. mays (sweetcorn)||Poaceae||Main|
Growth StagesTop of page Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage
SymptomsTop of page Symptoms appear on the leaves 3-7 days after inoculation as pale spots or flecks, 0.5-2 mm in diameter. Symptomatology may vary depending on the host, cultivar or virus isolate. In severe cases, the initial pale spots become longer streaks which eventually coalesce. Maize plants infected before the 4-5 leaf stage can be severely stunted. In milder instances, the lesions do not develop to more than a few sparse flecks or dots. Isolates which infect grain crops cause an abnormal bunching of flowers and shoots. Some isolates from South Africa induce a reddish pigmentation on those leaves initially infected.
Viruses are paired icosahedral particles (geminate), each particle measuring about 18 x 20 nm.
List of Symptoms/SignsTop of page
|Leaves / abnormal colours|
|Leaves / abnormal forms|
|Leaves / abnormal patterns|
|Leaves / necrotic areas|
|Stems / discoloration of bark|
|Stems / stunting or rosetting|
|Stems / witches broom|
|Whole plant / dwarfing|
Biology and EcologyTop of page Classical work by Storey (1939), summarized by Bock (1974) and Rose (1978), elucidated the vector relations of MSV. The virus may be acquired within 1 hour (minimum 15 seconds) of feeding on an infected source plant and, after a latent period of 6-12 hours at 30°C or 85 hours at 16°C, may be inoculated within 5 minutes of feeding on a suitable test plant. The virus is retained through moults but does not multiply within the vector.
Several leafhopper species have been identified as vectors of MSV in nature (Brunt et al., 1990) including: Cicadulina mbila, C. arachidis, C. bipunctella, C. triangula, C. bimaculata, C. similis, C. latens, C. ghaurii and C. parazeae. Nesoclutha declivata is the vector of Digitaria streak virus in India. Populations of several of the species, including the most important vector, C. mbila, can be divided into 'active' and 'inactive' vectors, i.e. those able or unable to transmit. The inability to transmit can be overcome by experimentally puncturing the gut wall or by injecting virus into the abdomen of 'inactive' individuals. The ability to transmit is inherited as a simple dominant, sex-linked gene, the effect of which is to allow the MSV virions to pass through the gut wall and into the haemolymph, from which they reach the salivary glands and can then be transmitted when the insect next feeds. Symptoms develop approximately 2 weeks after inoculation.
MSV is not transmitted mechanically, by pollen or via seed. Therefore the ecology and epidemidology of the disease depends entirely on the movements of its vector species which feed and reproduce readily on most major cereals and annual grass weeds, as well as on perennial and pasture grasses and, at lower densities, on natural grassland. There can be five to nine generations of leafhoppers per year, depending on temperature and rainfall. More eggs are laid at higher temperatures and during the wet season or on irrigated crops. The main flight period is at the end of the wet season, or at the flowering stage in cereal crops. Although leafhopper densities are low in natural grassland, these large areas are a major reservoir for the dispersal of MSV vectors. Of all the vectors, C. mbila flies furthest and most readily, and is the most important vector species.
Cereal crops and young annual grains are colonized by predominantly female populations, and most transmission of MSV within crops is due to these immigrants. Progeny of these immigrants are not considered important for secondary spread within the crop, but are major sources of inoculum for crops planted close by, especially if there is a succession of irrigated maize plantings.
Plant TradeTop of page
|Plant parts liable to carry the pest in trade/transport||Pest stages||Borne internally||Borne externally||Visibility of pest or symptoms|
|Flowers/Inflorescences/Cones/Calyx||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually invisible|
|Leaves||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Roots||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually invisible|
|Seedlings/Micropropagated plants||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually visible to the naked eye|
|Stems (above ground)/Shoots/Trunks/Branches||Yes||Pest or symptoms usually invisible|
|Plant parts not known to carry the pest in trade/transport|
|Fruits (inc. pods)|
|Growing medium accompanying plants|
|True seeds (inc. grain)|
ImpactTop of page MSV is a serious constraint to maize production throughout sub-Saharan Africa, Egypt and islands in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Reunion, Madagascar, Sao Tome and Principe) but also affects other cereals such as oats, wheat, sorghum, millet, finger millet and sugarcane (Thottappilly et al., 1993; Bosque-Perez, 2000). Across the African tropics maize is grown predominantly as a subsistence crop and consequently no estimates have been made of the financial losses due to streak disease. With the increasing importance of maize to agriculture in this region more detailed information on the economic impact of MSV is likely to become available.
Like many virus induced diseases, maize streak disease is naturally erratic, varying from insignificant in some years to epidemic proportions in others (Efron et al., 1989). Outbreaks of the disease are often associated with drought conditions or irregular rains such as those in west Africa in 1983 and 1984 (Rossel and Thottappilly, 1985). In addition, yield losses vary with the time of infection and varietal resistance (Guthrie, 1978; van Rensburg, 1981; Bosque-Perez et al., 1998). In Mauritius yield losses of 24 to 48% were reported in the mid-1970s with the greatest reduction of grain yield occurring in plants that were infected at an early stage. Field trials relying on natural infection in east Africa detected yield losses of between 33 and 56% (Guthrie, 1977), whereas losses of 100% were reported in many countries in west Africa (Fajemisin and Shoyinka, 1976). Trials conducted between 1983 and 1985, presented by Fajemisin et al. (1986), reported a yield reduction of 71 to 93% in maize due to MSV. Under conditions of natural infection yield losses ranged from 24 to 76%.
A study conducted by Vogel et al. (1993), looking at the interaction of planting date, streak resistance, application of fertiliser and the maize stalk borer (Busseola fusca) on maize yield in Zaire, showed that losses were highest for late plantings of the susceptible (local) maize variety without fertiliser (94% compared with 66% for the resistant variety). Use of fertiliser reduced these losses to 82 and 45%, respectively. For the early planting dates unfertilised losses were 25% for the local variety and 9% for the resistant variety (27 and 5%, respectively, for the fertilized trial). Overall the yield decreased from 1360 to 270 kg/ha for the local variety when planting was delayed, while the yield of the resistant variety decreased from 1710 to 420 kg/ha in unfertilised fields. For the fertilised fields yield decreased from 3080 to 800 kg/ha and from 3840 to 1580 kg/ha with delayed planting for local and resistant varieties, respectively. This demonstrates the significant increase in maize crop yield that can be gained from improved cultural practices and the use of MSV-resistant planting material.
DiagnosisTop of page Transmission using the vector species Cicadulina mbila to indicator plants has traditionally been the favoured diagnostic method. The maize cultivar 'Golden Bantam' is a suitable indicator host. All characterized isolates of MSV infect this maize genotype but only the MSV-A isolates are capable of producing symptomatic infections in many other cultivated genotypes (particularly those with moderate MSV resistance). The single characterized Digitaria streak virus isolate (which was previously thought to be an Indian isolate of MSV but is now regarded as a distinct virus species) is not transmitted to maize by its vector, Nesoclutha declivata, but will produce symptoms in maize when clones of the virus are directly inoculated into Golden Bantam seedling using Agrobacterium tumefaciens [Rhizobium tumefaciens].
Brunt et al. (1990), Damsteegt (1983) and Konate and Traore (1992) have provided comprehensive lists of plant species designated as susceptible or insusceptible, which are useful for host range tests.
The severity of symptoms produced by MSV isolates in a panel of maize genotypes can be used to differentiate between MSV-A, non MSV-A MSV strains and other African streak viruses (Martin et al., 1999, 2001).
Antisera are available (polyclonal and monoclonal) for use in ISEM for visualizing geminate particles, or in ELISA tests (Pinner et al., 1988). Cloned viral genes are also available and useful as probes for detecting viral DNA from both plant samples and the insect vectors on Southern blots (Boulton and Markham, 1986). A PCR-RFLP technique can be used to distinguish MSV-strains from one another and from other African streak viruses (Willment et al., 2001).
Detection and InspectionTop of page Inspect leaves for pale spots and streaking.
Similarities to Other Species/ConditionsTop of page MSV symptoms are often difficult to distinguish in the field from those caused by maize stripe tenuivirus, transmitted by the delphacid Peregrinus maidis. Symptoms of this virus include broad yellow stripes or yellowing of entire leaves, and acute bending of the shoot apex and stunting; the thickness of the yellow stripe symptom and the bending of the shoot apex are diagnostic of maize stripe disease. Maize stripe tenuivirus has been found in Africa, Arabia, Australia and South America.
Prevention and ControlTop of page
Due to the variable regulations around (de)registration of pesticides, your national list of registered pesticides or relevant authority should be consulted to determine which products are legally allowed for use in your country when considering chemical control. Pesticides should always be used in a lawful manner, consistent with the product's label.Cultural Control
Certain cultural control methods can reduce the incidence of MSV in crops. Often, high rainfall during the wet season (autumn) correlates with a large migration of infected vectors as the dry season (spring) approaches.
Planting downwind of covered crops should be avoided, and close attention should be given to management and rotation practices in irrigated areas. A 10-m barrier of paved ground has been shown to reduce the number of immigrant vectors, and removing the remnants of previous crops is advised (Rose, 1978).
Chemical insecticides can be effective and should be chosen for moderate persistence in order to cover the peak period of immigration when emerging crops are at greatest risk.
Breeding programmes have been ongoing for several years to obtain MSV-resistant cultivars. The inheritance of resistance appears to be simple (Storey and Howland, 1967; Kim et al., 1989). Breeders at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture have developed lines showing reduced symptom severity (possibly either tolerance or resistance). Durable resistance has now been back-crossed into germplasm adapted to many diverse African environments, and these varieties are still being disseminated (Anon., 1983; Efron et al., 1989).
On the basis of preliminary data, genetically engineered resistance to MSV seems to be an achievable goal before 2005 (DN Shepherd, University of Cape Town, South Africa, personal communication, 2002).
ReferencesTop of page
BigarrT L; Salah M; Granier M; Frutos R; Thouvenel JC; Peterschmitt M, 1999. Nucleotide sequence evidence for three distinct sugarcane streak mastreviruses. Archives of Virology, 144(12):2331-2344; 36 ref.
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Bock KR; Guthrie EJ; Woods RD, 1974. Purification of maize streak virus and its relationship to viruses associated with streak diseases of sugar cane and Panicum maximum. Annals of Applied Biology, 77(3):289-296
Bosque-PTrez NA; Olojede SO; Buddenhagen IW, 1998. Effect of maize streak virus disease on the growth and yield of maize as influenced by varietal resistance levels and plant stage at time of challenge. Euphytica, 101(3):307-317; 24 ref.
Boulton MI; Markham PG, 1986. The use of squash-blotting to detect plant pathogens in insect vectors. In: Jones RAC, Torrance L, eds. Developments in Applied Biology 1: Developments and Applications in Virus Testing. Wellesbourne, UK: Association of Applied Biologists, 55-69.
Briddon RW; Lunness P; Bedford ID; Chamberlin LCL; Mesfin T; Markham PG, 1996. A streak disease of pearl millet caused by a leafhopper-transmitted geminivirus. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 102(4):397-400; 28 ref.
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Damsteegt VD, 1983. Maize streak virus. 1. Host range and vulnerability of maize Zea mays germplasm. Plant Disease, 67:734-737.
De Carvalho I, 1948. Relacao preliminar de dofncas encontradas em plantes e insectos com anatacoes fitopatologicas. Coloia de Mocambique, Reporticao de Agricultura, Seccao de Micologia.
Dollet M; Accotto GP; Lisa V; Menissier J; Boccardo G, 1986. A geminivirus, serologically related to maize streak virus, from Digitaria sanguinalis from Vanuatu. Journal of General Virology, 67:933-937.
Donson J; Accotto GP; Boulton MI; Mullineaux PM; Davies JW, 1987. The nucleotide sequence of a geminivirus from Digitaria sanguinalis. Virology, 161:160-169.
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Fajemisin JM; Shoyinka SA, 1976. Maize streak and other maize virus diseases in West Africa. In: Williams LE, Gordon DT, Nault LR, ed. Proceedings, International maize virus disease colloquium and workshop. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Wooster USA, 52-60
Fuller C, 1901. Mealic variegation. First Report of the Government Entomologist Natal 1899-1900, 17-19.
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Martin DP; Willment JA; Billharz R; Velders R; Odhiambo B; Njuguna J; James D; Rybicki EP, 2001. Sequence diversity and virulence in Zea mays of Maize streak virus isolates. Virology (New York), 288(2):247-255; 42 ref.
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McKinney HH, 1929. Mosaic diseases in the Canary Islands, West Africa and Gibraltar. Journal of Agricultural Research, 39:577-578
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Seth ML; Raychaudhuri SP; Singh DV, 1971. A disease of bajra (Pennisetum typhoides (Burn. F.) Stapf. And Hubb) in India. Current Science, 40:272-273.
Shepherd EFS, 1925. Le "streak disease" des gramines a Maurice. Revue Agricole SucriFre Ile Maurice, 22:540-542.
Storey HH, 1925. Streak disease, an infectious chlorosis of sugarcane, not identical with mosaic disease. Review of Applied Mycology, 4:442-443.
Storey HH, 1936. Virus diseases of Eat African plants. V. Streak disease of maize. East African Agricultural Journal, 1:471-475.
Storey HH, 1939. Transmission of plant viruses by insects. Botanical Reviews, 5:240-272.
Storey HH; Howland AK, 1967. Inheritance of resistance in maize to the virus of streak disease in East Africa. Annals of Applied Biology, 59:429-436.
Van Rensburg GDJ, 1981. Effect of plant age at the time of infection with maize streak virus on yield of maize. Phytophylactica, 13:197-198.
Vogel WO; Hennessey RD; Berhe T; Matungulu KM, 1993. Yield losses to maize streak disease and Busseola fusca (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and economic benefits of streak-resistant maize to small farmers in Zaire. International Journal of Pest Management, 39:229-238.
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CABI, Undated. Compendium record. Wallingford, UK: CABI
CABI, Undated a. CABI Compendium: Status as determined by CABI editor. Wallingford, UK: CABI
Carvalho I de, 1948. [English title not available]. (Relacao preliminar de dofncas encontradas em plantes e insectos com anatacoes fitopatologicas.). In: Coloia de Mocambique, Reporticao de Agricultura, Seccao de Micologia.
IPPC-Secretariat, 2005. Identification of risks and management of invasive alien species using the IPPC framework. Proceedings of the workshop on invasive alien species and the International Plant Protection Convention, 22-26 September 2003. In: Identification of risks and management of invasive alien species using the IPPC framework. Proceedings of the workshop on invasive alien species and the International Plant Protection Convention, 22-26 September 2003 [Identification of risks and management of invasive alien species using the IPPC framework. Proceedings of the workshop on invasive alien species and the International Plant Protection Convention, 22-26 September 2003.], Rome & Braunschweig, Italy & Germany: FAO. xii + 301 pp.
Pinner M S, Markham P G, Markham R H, Dekker E L, 1988. Characterization of maize streak virus: description of strains; symptoms. Plant Pathology. 37 (1), 74-87. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3059.1988.tb02198.x
Distribution MapsTop of page
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