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Infectious Maize rayado fino virus from Cloned cDNA

Edwards Michael C., Weiland John J., Todd Jane, Stewart Lucy R.
Phytopathology 2015 v.105 no.6 pp. 833-839
Dalbulus maidis, Graminella nigrifrons, Maize rayado fino virus, Western blotting, Zea mays, clones, coat proteins, complementary DNA, corn, disease transmission, insect vectors, messenger RNA, pathogenicity, protoplasts, seed inoculation, sequence analysis, transcription (genetics), viruses
A full-length cDNA clone was produced from a U.S. isolate of Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), the type member of the genus Marafivirus within the family Tymoviridae. Infectivity of transcripts derived from cDNA clones was demonstrated by infection of maize plants and protoplasts, as well as by transmission via the known leafhopper vectors Dalbulus maidis and Graminella nigrifrons that transmit the virus in a persistent-propagative manner. Infection of maize plants through vascular puncture inoculation of seed with transcript RNA resulted in the induction of fine stipple stripe symptoms typical of those produced by wild-type MRFV and a frequency of infection comparable with that of the wild type. Northern and Western blotting confirmed the production of MRFV-specific RNAs and proteins in infected plants and protoplasts. An unanticipated increase in subgenomic RNA synthesis over levels in infected plants was observed in protoplasts infected with either wild-type or cloned virus. A conserved cleavage site motif previously demonstrated to function in both Oat blue dwarf virus capsid protein and tymoviral nonstructural protein processing was identified near the amino terminus of the MRFV replicase polyprotein, suggesting that cleavage at this site also may occur.