Principal maize viruses in Mediterranean countries
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Maize plants with virus-like symptoms were sampled in fields in Greece, Yugoslavia and Italy in 1994. Disease incidence (%) and disease severity (1-6) were assessed. Leaf samples were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and electroblot immunoassay (EBIA). Antisera against maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV), sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) and barley yellow dwarf viruses (BYDVs) (PAV- and RPV-like) were used in these tests. A higher disease incidence occurred in Italy and Greece than in Yugoslavia. MDMV was proved by both ELISA and EBIA in all maize genotypes in Greece, Yugoslavia and Italy. None of the samples reacted with SCMV antibodies. A total of 13.7 and 11% of individual Greek samples were positive for PAV- and RPV- respectively, while, 17.5 and 5% of Yugoslav samples were positive for PAV- and RPV- respectively. Phragmites sp, a perennial maize weed, was also positive for PAV- and RPV- by ELISA.