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Maize lethal necrosis (MLN), an emerging threat to maize-based food security in sub-Saharan Africa

Author:
GEORGE MAHUKU, BENHAM E. LOCKHART, BRAMWEL WANJALA, MARK W. JONES, JANET NJERI KIMUNYE, LUCY R. STEWART, BRYAN J. CASSONE, SUBRAMANIAN SEVGAN, JOHNSON O. NYASANI, ELIZABETH KUSIA, P. LAVA KUMAR, C. L. NIBLETT, ANNE WANGAI, ANDREW KIGGUNDU, GODFREY ASEA, HANU PAPPU, BODDUPALLI M. PRASANNA, MARGARET G. REDINBAUGH
Source:
Phytopathology 2015 v.105 no.7 pp. 956-965
ISSN:
0031-949X
Subject:
Maize chlorotic mottle virus, Sugarcane mosaic virus, agricultural management, cooperative research, corn, crop losses, disease control, disease outbreaks, disease severity, disease vectors, financial economics, food security, germplasm, mixed infection, necrosis, pest management, pests, small-scale farming, vector control, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda
Abstract:
In sub-Saharan Africa, maize is a staple food and key determinant of food security for smallholder farming communities. Pest and disease outbreaks are key constraints to maize productivity. In September 2011, a serious disease outbreak, later diagnosed as maize lethal necrosis (MLN), was reported on maize in Kenya. The disease has since been confirmed in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and similar symptoms have been reported in Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ethiopia. In 2012, yield losses of up to 90% resulted in an estimated grain loss of 126,000 metric tonnes valued at $52 million in Kenya alone. In eastern Africa, MLN was found to result from co-infection of maize with Maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), although MCMV alone appears to cause significant crop losses. We summarize here the results of collaborative research undertaken to understand the biology and epidemiology of MLN in East Africa and to develop disease management strategies, including identification of vectors, epidemiology and MLN tolerant maize germplasm. We discuss recent progress, identify major issues requiring further research and discuss the possible next steps for effective management of MLN.
Agid:
61303
Handle:
10113/61303