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Fitopatologia Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0100-4158On-line version ISSN 1678-4677


ARNEODO, JOEL D. et al. Cytopathological characterization of Mal de Río Cuarto virus in corn, wheat and barley. Fitopatol. bras. [online]. 2002, vol.27, n.3, pp.298-302. ISSN 0100-4158.

The Mal de Río Cuarto disease is caused by Mal de Río Cuarto virus (MRCV) transmitted by Delphacodes kuscheli. Comparative studies were carried out on the cytopathological alterations produced by MRCV in corn (Zea mays), wheat (Triticum aestivum) and barley (Hordeum vulgare), as seen with a transmission electron microscope. Corn plants were infected with viruliferous D. kuscheli collected from the endemic disease area (i.e. Río Cuarto County, Córdoba, Argentina). For the viral transmission to small grain cereal plants, laboratory rared insects were used. In this case, the inoculum source was wheat and barley plants infected with MRCV isolate grown in a greenhouse. Leaf samples with conspicuous symptoms were collected: enations and size reduction in corn; crenatures, swelling veins and dark green color in small grain cereals. Viral infection was corroborated by DAS-ELISA. Viroplasms containing complete and incomplete virus particles and fibrillar material were found in the cytoplasm of infected cells in all species. Mature virions were between 60 and 70 nm diameter. In wheat and barley, viroplasms and dispersed particles were observed only in phloem, while in corn virions were also found in cells of the bundle sheath. Crystalline arrays of particles were detected in corn enation constitutive cells. Tubular inclusions were found only in wheat samples. The three species showed abnormalities in the chloroplasts of affected cells. The results showed that MRCV cytopathology has similarities with other viruses from the genus Fijivirus, family family Reoviridae, but slight differences depending upon the host plant.

Keywords : virus characterization; electron microscopy; Fijivirus; Reoviridae; cereals.

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