Maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), present in various countries in Latin America, has shown similarities to corn streak virus that occurs in Brazil, regarding pathogenic, serological and histological characteristics. In the current report both virus were molecularly compared to confirm the similarities between them. MRFV was identified by nucleic acid hybridization in samples of maize tissues exhibiting symptoms of "corn stunt" disease, collected from two Brazilian States - São Paulo and Minas Gerais. The coat protein gene and 3'non-translated region of MRFV were amplified from infected tissues by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using MRFV-specific primers, and were characterized by nucleotide sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the cloned PCR products. Phylogenetic analysis of the relationships between the Brazilian isolates and isolates obtained from Latin America and the United States reveals a close relationship to isolates from Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Results support the proposal that the Brazilian corn streak virus be regarded as an isolate of MRFV and provide evidence for the presence of MRFV in "corn stunt' disease in Brazil.
MRF virus; corn viruses; phytoplasma; corn stunt