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Sugarcane mosaic virus
(sugarcane mosaic)

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Datasheet

Sugarcane mosaic virus (sugarcane mosaic)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 06 October 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Pest
  • Natural Enemy
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Sugarcane mosaic virus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • sugarcane mosaic
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Virus
  •   Group: "Positive sense ssRNA viruses"
  •     Group: "RNA viruses"
  •       Family: Potyviridae
  •         Genus: Potyvirus

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Sugarcane CP31-588 infected with SCMV-SC showing yellow streaks and slight necrosis.
TitleSymptoms on leaf
CaptionSugarcane CP31-588 infected with SCMV-SC showing yellow streaks and slight necrosis.
CopyrightDavid S. Teakle
Sugarcane CP31-588 infected with SCMV-SC showing yellow streaks and slight necrosis.
Symptoms on leafSugarcane CP31-588 infected with SCMV-SC showing yellow streaks and slight necrosis. David S. Teakle
TitleSymptoms on maize plants
Caption
Copyright©CIMMYT
Symptoms on maize plants©CIMMYT
Transmission electron micrograph of flexuous, rod-shaped particles of SCMV x40 000.
TitleVirus particles
CaptionTransmission electron micrograph of flexuous, rod-shaped particles of SCMV x40 000.
CopyrightDavid S. Teakle
Transmission electron micrograph of flexuous, rod-shaped particles of SCMV x40 000.
Virus particlesTransmission electron micrograph of flexuous, rod-shaped particles of SCMV x40 000.David S. Teakle

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Sugarcane mosaic virus

Preferred Common Name

  • sugarcane mosaic

Other Scientific Names

  • abaca mosaic potyvirus
  • abaca mosaic virus
  • grass mosaic virus
  • maize dwarf mosaic potyvirus strain B
  • maize dwarf mosaic virus strain B
  • sorghum concentric ringspot potyvirus
  • sorghum red stripe virus
  • sugarcane mosaic potyvirus

International Common Names

  • English: grass mosaic; mosaic of sugarcane; sorghum red stripe
  • Portuguese: vírus do mosaic da cana sacarina
  • German: Zuckerrohr Mosaikvirus

English acronym

  • SCMV

EPPO code

  • SCMV00 (Sugarcane mosaic virus)

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Virus
  •     Group: "Positive sense ssRNA viruses"
  •         Group: "RNA viruses"
  •             Family: Potyviridae
  •                 Genus: Potyvirus
  •                     Species: Sugarcane mosaic virus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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This virus was described from sugarcane by Brandes (1919). Strains naturally infecting certain other hosts are also known as abaca mosaic virus (Eloja and Tinsley, 1963) and as maize dwarf mosaic virus strain B (Mackenzie et al., 1966; Louie and Knoke, 1975).

Initially, most aphid-transmitted, mosaic-inducing viruses (genus Potyvirus; family Potyviridae) infecting sugarcane, maize and other members of the Poaceae were designated as strains of either Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) or Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) on the basis of their primary host plants. However, as serological and molecular diagnostic assays became available, new criteria for speciation of these viruses were proposed (Shukla et al., 1989; Shukla et al., 1992; Shukla and Ward, 1994): the amino-acid sequence homology of their coat proteins, and serological relationships with antisera derived from epitopes in the amino terminus rather than the core region of the coat protein. Using these criteria, virus isolates previously included as strains of SCMV or MDMV have been placed in four distinct viruses: Sugarcane mosaic virus itself (USA strains A, B, D and E, Australian strains SC, BC and Sabi, and USA maize dwarf mosaic strain B); Johnsongrass mosaic virus (Australian sugarcane mosaic virus strain JG, USA maize dwarf mosaic strains O and Kansas 1; Shukla and Teakle, 1989; McKern et al., 1990; note that Johnsongrass is Sorghum halepense); Maize dwarf mosaic virus (USA strains A, D, E and F; Ford et al., 1989); and Sorghum mosaic virus (USA sugarcane mosaic virus strains H, I and M; Shukla et al., 1989).

For further information, see the Taxonomy section of datasheet on MDMV.

Description

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The particles are flexuous filaments of about 750 x 13 nm (Teakle et al., 1989). The coat protein comprises a single polypeptide species of Mr 35,000 and 328 amino-acid residues (Frenkel et al., 1991). The nucleic acid is a single polyadenylated ssRNA species of ca Mr 3,400,000, which comprises ca 5% of the weight of the particle (Berger et al., 1988; Frenkel et al., 1991).

The complete genome of SCMV is approximately 9.6 kb in size, with a covalently linked viral protein (VPg) and a poly(A) tract at its 5′ and 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs), respectively (Adams et al., 2005). The genomic RNA encodes a single large open reading frame (ORF) or polyprotein that is proteolytically cleaved into 10-11 individual gene products by three viral-encoded proteinases (Urcuqui-Inchima et al., 2001; Adams et al., 2005; Chung et al., 2008). These proteins are P1-Pro (protein 1 protease); HC-Pro (helper component protease); P3 (protein 3); PIPO (pretty interesting Potyviridae ORF); 6K1 (six kilodalton peptide 1); CI (cytoplasmic inclusion); 6K2 (six kilodalton peptide 2); VPg (covalently linked viral protein); NIa-Pro (nuclear inclusion A protease); NIb (nuclear inclusion B); and CP (coat protein).

Distribution

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SCMV is widely distributed in most of the major sugarcane-producing countries of the world with its occurrence reported in about 80 countries across six continents (EPPO, 2019). However, it is worth mentioning that several of these reports are probably due primarily to observed symptoms of sugarcane mosaic disease (SCMD), biological indexing, electron microscopy, and serological diagnosis. The limitations of these assays lie in their inability to accurately distinguish between SCMV and other SCMD-causal potyviruses such as Maize dwarf mosaic virus, Johnsongrass mosaic virus, Sorghum mosaic virus, Zea mosaic virus, Pennisetum mosaic virus and Cocksfoot streak virus (Wu et al., 2012). This limitation has now been overcome with the availability of virus-specific molecular assays such as conventional and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Subsequently, the occurrence of SCMV has now been confirmed in at least 26 countries (Silva-Rosales et al., 2015; Yahaya et al., 2019). As molecular assays become routine globally, a better resolution of the distribution of SCMV and other SCMD-causal viruses will become clearer.

Distribution Table

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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: 30 Jun 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresent
Cabo VerdePresent
CameroonPresent
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent
Côte d'IvoirePresent
EgyptPresent
EthiopiaPresent
GhanaPresent
KenyaPresent
MadagascarPresent
MalawiPresent
MoroccoPresent
NigeriaPresent
RéunionPresent
RwandaPresent
Sierra LeonePresent
South AfricaPresent
TanzaniaPresent
UgandaPresent
ZambiaPresent
ZimbabwePresent

Asia

BangladeshPresent
CambodiaPresent
ChinaPresent, Localized
-AnhuiPresent
-BeijingPresent
-FujianPresent
-GansuPresent
-GuangdongPresent
-GuangxiPresent
-HainanPresent
-HebeiPresent
-HenanPresent
-HubeiPresent
-Inner MongoliaPresent
-JiangsuPresent
-JiangxiPresent
-JilinPresent
-LiaoningPresent
-ShaanxiPresent
-ShandongPresent
-ShanghaiPresent
-ShanxiPresent
-SichuanPresent
-XinjiangPresent
-YunnanPresent
-ZhejiangPresent
IndiaPresent
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresent
-Andhra PradeshPresent
-BiharPresent
-GujaratPresent
-HaryanaPresent
-KarnatakaPresentOriginal citation: Srinivasachary, et al. (2002)
-MaharashtraPresent
-Tamil NaduPresent
-Uttar PradeshPresent
-UttarakhandPresent
IndonesiaPresent
-Irian JayaPresent
-JavaPresent
-SulawesiPresent
IranPresent
IsraelPresent
JapanPresent
LaosPresent
MalaysiaPresent
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent
MyanmarPresent
NepalPresent
PakistanPresent
PhilippinesPresent
Sri LankaPresent
TaiwanPresent
ThailandPresent
TurkeyPresent
VietnamPresent

Europe

BulgariaAbsent, Unconfirmed presence record(s)
CzechiaPresent
CzechoslovakiaPresent
FrancePresent
GermanyPresent
GreecePresent
HungaryPresent
ItalyPresent
PolandPresent
PortugalPresent, Localized
-MadeiraPresent
RomaniaPresent
SerbiaPresent
Serbia and MontenegroPresent
SpainPresent

North America

Antigua and BarbudaPresent
BarbadosPresent
BelizePresent
Costa RicaPresent
CubaPresent
Dominican RepublicPresent
El SalvadorPresent
GuadeloupePresent
GuatemalaPresent
HaitiPresent
HondurasPresent
JamaicaPresent
MartiniquePresent
MexicoPresent
NicaraguaPresent
PanamaPresent
Puerto RicoPresent
Saint Kitts and NevisPresent
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesPresent
Trinidad and TobagoPresent
U.S. Virgin IslandsPresent
United StatesPresent
-FloridaPresent
-HawaiiPresent

Oceania

AustraliaPresent, Localized
-New South WalesPresent
-QueenslandPresent
FijiPresent
Papua New GuineaPresent

South America

ArgentinaPresent
BoliviaPresent
BrazilPresent
-ParanaPresent
-Sao PauloPresent
ColombiaPresent
EcuadorPresent
French GuianaPresent
ParaguayPresent
PeruPresent
SurinamePresent
UruguayPresent
VenezuelaPresent

Risk of Introduction

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PHYTOSANITARY RISK

Risk Criteria Category

Economic Importance Moderate
Distribution Worldwide
Seedborne Incidence Low
Seed Transmitted Yes
Seed Treatment None

Overall Risk Low


Hosts/Species Affected

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Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and maize (Zea mays) are the primary cultivated hosts of SCMV although its natural host range includes various members of the Poaceae. The Sabi strain can cause a latent infection of Phaseolus vulgaris (Teakle and Grylls, 1973). Useful test plants include some lines of Sorghum bicolor and Z. mays. However, some plants shown to be susceptible in glasshouse tests are rarely, if ever, infected in nature.

In Queensland, Australia, Brachiaria piligera is the only known natural host of the sugarcane-infecting strain SC, apart from sugarcane itself (Srisink et al., 1993). In contrast, the Sabi grass strain (which doesn't infect sugarcane) commonly infects Sabi grass (Urochloa mosambicensis) and sometimes wild sorghum (Sorghum verticilliflorum [S. arundinaceum]) (Srisink et al., 1993), pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) (Karan et al., 1992), Dinebra retroflexa and Eragrostis cilianensis (Persley and Greber, 1977). Similarly, the Queensland blue couch grass strain (which also doesn't infect sugarcane, but does infect maize) has a number of natural grass hosts apart from the perennial host Digitaria didactyla after which it is named (Teakle and Grylls, 1973; Persley and Greber, 1977). SCMV has also been reported from Columbus grass (Sorghum almum) in Australia (Teakle and Grylls, 1973) and the USA (Mollov et al., 2016), from St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) in Florida and Australia (Todd et al., 1964; Pares and Gillings, 1990; Harmon et al., 2015) and from itch grass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis) in Nigeria (Yahaya et al., 2019). The SCMV strain formerly known as maize dwarf mosaic strain B infects maize and may infect other wild Poaceae.

Thus, sugarcane and maize are the primary hosts of most SCMV genetic variants. Other crop and wild species of the Poaceae are known or suspected secondary hosts.

Host Plants and Other Plants Affected

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Growth Stages

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Seedling stage, Vegetative growing stage

Symptoms

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SCMV causes systemic infection of sugarcane, maize and various poaceous host plants: the whole plant, including roots, contains virus. However, the symptoms (mosaic and/or necrosis) are observed on the leaves and sometimes the stems. The mosaic symptoms typically appear as contrasting shades of green on a background of paler green to yellow chlorotic areas. Sometimes yellow stripes or streaks occur. The whole plant may become stunted when infection occurs early. The symptoms may depend on the virus strain, the host cultivar, the growth stage of the plant at the time of infection, and the environmental conditions, particularly temperature.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Leaves / abnormal colours
Leaves / abnormal forms
Leaves / abnormal patterns
Leaves / necrotic areas
Stems / discoloration of bark
Stems / stunting or rosetting
Whole plant / dwarfing

Biology and Ecology

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SCMV is naturally transmitted by aphid vectors in a non-persistent manner. Aphid species involved in natural spread in Australia may be Rhopalosiphum maidis, Aphis gossypii and Myzus persicae (Noone et al., 1994); R. maidis and Hysteroneura setariae are involved in Louisiana, USA (Abbott, 1961); and R. maidis and R. padi are involved in South Africa (Anon., 1986). In Australia, Melanaphis sacchari, the sugarcane aphid, and H. setariae, a grass aphid, were non-vectors, whereas A. gossypii and M. persicae, which have dicotyledonous hosts, were able to transmit SCMV. Sugarcane and maize are more susceptible to infection if in an early stage of growth (Srisink et al., 1994).

Numbers of each aphid species vary according to the season: in Louisiana, SCMV is spread by R. maidis in winter and early spring, but in all seasons by H. setariae (Abbott, 1961). In South Africa, SCMV is transmitted to young crops in summer by R. maidis and R. padi (Anon., 1986). In Japan, seasonal SCMV infection peaks were related to the peak vector populations (Setokuchi and Muta, 1993).

The rate of mosaic spread in a field of sugarcane depends on many factors (Abbott, 1961), including: the resistance of the sugarcane variety to the disease; the strain of the virus present; the occurrence of reservoir or ‘green bridge’ hosts in the landscape; the number and distribution of infection foci; numbers, kinds and activity of aphid vectors present; and weather and other environmental conditions influencing the susceptibility of the plants or activity of the aphid vectors.

Transmission of SCMV in vegetative planting material is an additional important method of spreading the virus. Mature sugarcane plants with mild symptoms may be used as planting material, and thus the virus may be distributed widely (Srisink et al., 1993).

Though yet to be proven experimentally, it has also been suggested that SCMV spread in St. Augustine grass (Stenotaphrum secondatum) landscapes may be facilitated by mechanical means with lawn mowers, line trimmers, and other equipment via transfer of clippings and sap containing virus from lawn to lawn; also, through infected sod during the times of year when symptoms are mild and not obvious (Harmon, 2019).

Tolerant cultivars of sugarcane sometimes lose mosaic symptoms as the plants mature; the virus may be carried latently or may even be lost completely. When breeding for resistance in Brazil, recovery from symptoms in seedlings was 27% for plant cane and 39% for the first ratoon (Matsuoka et al., 1985). In Puerto Rico, canes supposedly recovering from infection with either SCMV-A or B were often able to be re-infected by the same virus strain (Liu, 1972).

With maize, crops are grown from seed. As there is little seed transmission of SCMV, seedlings emerge healthy. Aphids introduce SCMV or other potyviruses from older infected crops of maize or other hosts. Often perennial grass hosts of SCMV maintain the virus over periods of cold or drought. Grass hosts thought to overwinter the virus include Tripsacum dactyloides for SCMV-MB in the USA (Seifers et al., 1993) and Digitaria didactyla for SCMV-BC in Australia (Teakle and Grylls, 1973).

Analyses of the complete polyprotein and/or gene-specific sequences of global SCMV isolates revealed their segregation into five to six distinct and largely host-specific phylogenetic groups (Alegria et al., 2003; Wang et al., 2010; Gao et al., 2011; Yahaya et al., 2019), and the possibility that recombination may have played a role in the evolution of natural populations of the virus (Silva-Rosales et al., 2015; Yahaya et al., 2019).
 

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Vector transmission

SCMV is transmitted by aphid vectors in the non-persistent manner. Aphids introduce SCMV or other potyviruses from older infected crops of maize or other hosts. 

Accidental introduction

Transmission of SCMV in vegetative planting material is an additional important method of spreading the virus. Mature sugarcane plants with mild symptoms may be used as planting material, and thus the virus may be distributed widely (Srisink et al., 1993).

Seedborne Aspects

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Incidence

SCMV has not been reported in sugarcane seed or to be transported by sugarcane seed. However, seed cane (stalk pieces or setts), used to propagate sugarcane vegetatively, commonly transmits SCMV and other viruses from one crop to the next.

With maize, SCMV-MB (Maize dwarf mosaic virus strain B) has been detected in the pericarp, but rarely in the endosperm or embryo of seeds at 21 days after pollination. In mature seeds, it was occasionally detected in the pericarp and endosperm, but not in the embryo (Mikel et al., 1984).

The pattern of SCMV prevalence in maize in France in 2007 led Marie-Jeanne et al. (2011) to suggest that SCMV may be seedborne in maize. Li et al. (2007) report that SCMV can enter maize seeds through infected pollen as well as from an infected female plant.

It was also suggested that SCMV spread on lawns may occur via infected sod during the times of year when symptoms are mild and not obvious, prompting the recommendation that turfgrass sods with SCMV should not be used (Harmon, 2019).

Effect on Seed Quality

In Pakistan, sugarcane seed cane (stalk pieces or setts) free from infection with an SCMV-like virus gave 5-11% more germination and 1.34 more tillers per plant than infected setts (Ahmad et al., 1991).

Maize plants infected early (before the fourth or fifth leaf stage) may be moderately to severely stunted and have poor seed set, depending on the infected line; a lack of kernels at the butt end of sweetcorn ears is also common (Wu et al., 2012).

Seed Transmission

There have been no reports of seed transmission of SCMV in sugarcane and most other hosts. However, a low level of seed transmission of isolates resembling SCMV-A was reported in maize (Baudin, 1977; Fuchs et al., 1990). Larger maize seeds are more likely to transmit the virus than smaller seeds (Wang and Zhou, 2011). In addition, the majority of infected seedlings are derived from seeds from the middle or mid-base regions of ears. SCMV was also transmitted to seedlings grown in sterilized soil from infected seeds harvested from plants inoculated with MDMV strains A and B (Mikel et al., 1984).

Seed Treatments

The effects of sorghum hybrids and imidacloprid seed treatment on infestations by the vectors Rhopalosiphum maidis and Schizaphis graminum, and on the spread of MDMV-B [SCMV] have been evaluated in Kansas, USA. Imidacloprid controlled R. maidis for 3-4 weeks but not for 7 weeks after planting and reduced the spread of SCMV in a S. graminum-susceptible hybrid (Northrup King S9750) in one year but not in another. Differences among hybrids in the incidence of SCMV did not appear to be related to the hybrids' reaction to S. graminum. However, one S. graminum-resistant hybrid (Dekalb DK-39Y) appeared to be highly resistant to natural infection by SCMV, even though it was susceptible when inoculated mechanically (Harvey et al., 1996).

Treatment of Sorghum bicolor seeds with acibenzolar-S-methyl, salicylic acid or Pseudomonas fluorescens all induced systemic resistance in S. bicolor against SCMV isolates from sugarcane (Balamuralikrishnan et al., 2005).

Seed Health Tests

Serological test

ELISA successfully detected SCMV in seed parts (Mikel et al., 1984).

Impact

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Introduction

In the past, SCMV and other SCMD-causal viruses have caused serious losses in various maize and sugarcane-growing regions, including Hawaii, Egypt, Natal (South Africa), Argentina, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Australia, USA (Koike and Gillaspie, 1989; Fuchs and Grüntzig, 1995; Chen et al., 2002) and several other countries in South America (Perera et al., 2012 and references therein). Epidemics have been followed by replacement of susceptible noble-type canes by hybrid canes with tolerance or, better still, resistance and the propagation of resistant maize genotypes (Silva-Rosales et al., 2015 and references therein). The evolution of new strains of SCMV has required a continuing breeding programme to prevent heavy losses.

Losses caused by SCMV are mainly (1) a reduced yield of the crop, (2) the need to include mosaic resistance when breeding new cultivars, and (3) the slowing of the interchange of cultivars between countries because of quarantine concerns over the introduction of new strains of SCMV.

Crop Losses

Crop losses caused by SCMV depend on many factors, including the susceptibility of the cultivars to the prevailing strains of SCMV, the incidence of infection, the prevailing environmental conditions, the stage of growth when infection occurs, and interaction with other agents affecting the crop. Crop losses can vary from negligible to severe. Some documented instances of heavy losses in sugarcane crops due to mosaic outbreaks are as follows.

In the 1980s, losses on some farms in the Isis district of Queensland, Australia, were estimated to be about 50% (Jones, 1987). In some commercial plantings of cv. Q95 from an infected source, the infected plants had fewer tillers and were less vigorous than apparently healthy plants nearby (Ryan and Jones, 1986).

In Guatemala in 1974-1976, many stunted stools of mosaic-affected cv. Q83 were responsible for lack of uniformity in fields near Santa Lucia. The cane tonnage in these fields was seriously reduced (Fors, 1978).

Estimations of Potential Losses in Experiments

Sugarcane

In Natal, South Africa, plots of sugarcane cv. NCo376 (highly susceptible) and N12 (moderately resistant) were established with either infected or healthy cane. The plots were harvested regularly and tested serologically for SCMV to the 6th ratoon. There was a decline in the number of shoots showing mosaic symptoms in both cultivars during the experiment. However, mean yield reductions were 22% for infected NCo376 and 16% for N12 compared with yields of initially healthy cane (Cronje et al., 1994).

In Brazil, plots in two locations were planted with 0, 25, 50 and 100% initial SCMV infection. Virus spread was noticeable for cv. CB46/47, but negligible for cv. IAC50/134. For CB46/47 yield losses between initially healthy and 25% infected plots were 27% and 19% in the two locations; with 100% infection, yield reduction was 71% in both areas. For IAC50/134 the only significant difference in yield was between 0 and 100% infection, an 18% reduction in diseased plots in both areas (Matsuoka and Costa, 1974).

In Java, Indonesia, field trials with 0 and 100% SCMV-infected seed cane gave sugar yield reductions of 9.3% for POJ3016 and 11.1% for POJ3067 associated with the disease (Kuntohartono and Legowo, 1970).

In Spain, when healthy sugarcane was planted between rows infected by SCMV, the cultivars CO62/175 and NA56/79 were sufficiently resistant for commercial production, but losses of 0.4-0.5 t/ha were found for every 1% infection between the 2nd and 4th cutting (Olalla Mercade et al., 1984a).

In Pakistan, mosaic-free seed cane gave a significantly higher yield of cane (48.5 t/ha) than mosaic-infected seed cane (44.5 t/ha) (Ahmad et al., 1991).

Maize

In East Africa, 10 susceptible maize hybrids had yield losses of 18-46% when inoculated with SCMV in the seedling stage (Louie and Darrah, 1980).

In Germany, SCMV was more prevalent than MDMV, but had a similar effect on growth and yield of maize. Early infection reduced plant height by 25%, total weight by 38% and ear weight by 27% (Fuchs et al., 1990).

Disease Complexes

SCMV and related potyviruses may occur in disease complexes with other plant pathogens; either additive or synergistic effects may occur.

In Louisiana, USA, losses in sugarcane caused by Sorghum mosaic virus (formerly called SCMV-H) and ratoon stunting disease (RSD, caused by the bacterium Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli) were additive in cv. CP67-412, but synergistic (greater than the sum of each disease separately) in CP65-357 (Koike, 1982). In Spain, RSD symptoms were associated with the presence of SCMV, and damage by RSD was greatest in fields with clear mosaic symptoms (Olalla Mercade et al., 1984b).

In Thailand, inoculation of the downy mildew-susceptible maize cv. Guatemala with an SCMV-like virus increased susceptibility to Peronosclerospora sorghi only slightly, whereas with the resistant Suwan 1 maize cv., the virus increased susceptibility from 27 to 61% (Sutabutra et al., 1976).

In many African (especial East African) countries, SCMV and some of the SCMD-causal viruses may also interact synergistically with Maize chlorotic mottle virus (genus Machlomovirus; family Tombusviridae) to cause maize lethal necrosis disease, an emerging debilitating disease of maize (Niblett and Claflin, 1978; Wangai et al., 2012) that can cause total crop loss.

Diagnosis

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Sap or aphid inoculation to Saccharum spp., Sorghum bicolor cultivars Atlas and Rio and certain other lines, or Zea mays will result in mosaic or necrotic diseases. Electron microscope examination of sap extracts of infected plants will reveal typical potyvirus particles which will be decorated by SCMV-specific antisera.

Other serological tests which can be done with SCMV-specific antisera are precipitin tests which give flagellar-type reactions with intact concentrated virus preparations, immunodiffusion tests (Bond and Pirone, 1971), ELISA and electro-blot immunoassay. Monoclonal antibodies to the maize dwarf mosaic virus-B strain of SCMV have been produced (Hill et al., 1984).

The SCMD-causal potyviruses infecting the Poaceae can be distinguished by high-performance liquid chromatography of coat protein digests (Shukla et al., 1988).

The inclusion morphology of SCMV is distinctive, comprising pinwheels, scrolls and laminated aggregates (Subdivision III), whereas Johnsongrass mosaic virus, Maize dwarf mosaic virus and Sorghum mosaic virus induce only pinwheels and scrolls (Subdivision I) (Lesemann et al., 1992).

A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) molecular diagnostic method is sensitive and specific (Smith and Van de Velde, 1994).

SCMV has been detected in maize seeds by ELISA, electron microscopy, biological assay and tissue culture (Li et al., 2004). Several RT-PCR and IC-RT-PCR tests have been developed for the molecular diagnosis of SCMV in singleplex and multiplex formats (Yang and Mirkov, 1997; Rott et al., 2008; Xie et al., 2009; Shuba-Reddy et al., 2011). Generic primers targeting members of the Potyvirus genus (Ha et al., 2008; Zheng et al., 2010) or Poaceae-infecting potyviruses (Marie-Jeanne et al., 2000) have also been used in RT-PCR assays (Mollov et al., 2016; Yahaya et al., 2019). However, the obtained amplicons must be sequenced for a definitive identification of the virus. With the advent of metagenomic, techniques such as highthroughput sequencing have been applied for routine diagnosis of SCMV and other cereal-infecting viruses (Adams et al., 2013; Adams et al., 2014).

Detection and Inspection

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The younger expanding leaves should be inspected for mosaic symptoms. Because symptoms may be mild, sap extracts of younger expanded leaves should be inoculated to diagnostic hosts and, concurrently, tested serologically or molecularly (see section on Diagnosis). Diagnostic tests can be specific to either SCMV or the potyvirus genus.

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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SCMV generally resembles other potyviruses that infect the Poaceae (namely Sorghum mosaic virus, Johnsongrass mosaic virus, Maize dwarf mosaic virus, Zea mosaic virus and Cocksfoot streak virus) in the symptoms induced, particle morphology and the presence in cells of cylindrical proteinaceous pinwheel inclusion bodies. However, these different viruses can be distinguished on the basis of symptoms in differential hosts, serological relationships and nucleic acid homology (Tosic et al., 1990; Shukla and Ward, 1994).
 

Prevention and Control

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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.

Control of SCMV

Attempts to eradicate SCMV by roguing infected plants have rarely been successful (Abbott, 1961; Koike and Gillaspie, 1989). Roguing by digging out or applying herbicides may be useful in maintaining mosaic-free seed plots of cane if the level of infection is lower than 5% (Koike and Gillaspie, 1989). The use of mosaic-free seed cane is an effective control measure where inoculum pressures are not intense. Thermotherapy of planting material can result in some plants that are free of SCMV (Mirza et al., 1986; Benda et al., 1989) especially when combined with tissue culture (El-Nasr et al., 1989). Control of alternative perennial weed grass hosts is also effective for reducing the inoculum pressure and the density of potentially viruliferous aphids within the landscape. 

The development and propagation of conventionally bred or transgenically developed resistant or tolerant sugarcane and maize genotypes is the most effective approach to the management of SCMV (Silva-Rosales et al., 2015 and references therein). However, it is important that these genotypes are utilized in an integrated pest management programme that also incorporate other management approaches such as weed control, crop rotations, etc. to avoid resistance breakdown.

Control of Aphid Vectors

A close relationship exists between ants and aphid vectors of SCMV (Charpentier, 1963). Ants can carry the aphids from one sugarcane plant to another, from grass to cane and from cane to grass. Ants may also protect the aphids from attacks by parasitoids and predators, which would otherwise exert better control.

Because aphids which transmit SCMV come from outside as well as inside the sugarcane crop, care should be given to reduce the build-up of the vector species in the vicinity. Crops of maize and sorghum are good hosts of vectors such as Rhopalosiphum maidis, and should not be grown near infected sugarcane crops. Altering the times of planting and harvesting so that they do not coincide with high aphid vector populations can reduce losses (Bailey and Fox, 1980).

The use of insecticides failed to prevent aphid vectors from spreading SCMV (Charpentier, 1956) due to the non-persistent mode of transmission.

References

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Abbott EV, 1961. Mosaic. In: Martin JP, Abbott EV, Hughes CG, eds. Sugar-Cane Diseases of the World, Vol. 1. Amsterdam, Holland: Elsevier, 407-430

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27/11/19 Updated by:

Olufemi Alabi, Texas A&M Agrilife Research and Extension Center, USA

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