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Maize streak virus research in Africa: an end or a crossroad

The economic importance of the maize streak virus disease to the African maize production dynamic is to be appreciated now more than ever due to the preponderant influence of a changing climate. Continued dependence on a single major-effect quantitative trait locus (QTL) called Msv1 on Chromosome 1 of Maize (Zea mays L.) is not guaranteed to ensure durable resistance to the causal pathogen. With over ten decades of research on the disease and its associated host plant resistance mechanisms, it is pertinent to consider future approaches to attaining durability by looking to the synergistic roles of moderate- and minor-effect QTLs located on other chromosomes so as to facilitate a secure farming system for sub-Saharan Africa.

Mary EmeraghiEnoch G. Achigan-DakoChibuzo N. C. Nwaoguala & Happiness Oselebe

Theoretical and Applied Genetics December 2021; vol. 134: 3785–3803

Abstract

The economic importance of the maize streak virus disease to the African maize production dynamic is to be appreciated now more than ever due to the preponderant influence of a changing climate. Continued dependence on a single major-effect quantitative trait locus (QTL) called Msv1 on Chromosome 1 of Maize (Zea mays L.) is not guaranteed to ensure durable resistance to the causal pathogen. With over ten decades of research on the disease and its associated host plant resistance mechanisms, it is pertinent to consider future approaches to attaining durability by looking to the synergistic roles of moderate- and minor-effect QTLs located on other chromosomes so as to facilitate a secure farming system for sub-Saharan Africa. For this review, more than 40 publications relating to maize streak disease research were methodically analysed with about 30% making specific reference to conventional, molecular and transgenic approaches employed in introgressing, maintaining and improving streak resistance in maize. A meta-analysis of mapped QTLs conferring streak resistance was conducted in a bid to reveal any inter-dependence or co-localization of resistant loci and to aid decision-making for marker-assisted breeding. With the changing climatic conditions around the globe, man’s preparedness in the event of an epidemic following any evolutionary process in the streak viral genome was determined as insufficient. Modern breeding approaches including gene pyramiding that could be considered in maize breeding programmes to ensure durability for streak resistance were proposed while improving maize for other abiotic stress tolerance, particularly drought.

 

See: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-021-03914-y

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