Mixed infections of maize dwarf mosaic virus and cucumber mosaic virus in maize

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Maize plants collected in three geographically distinct regions of South Africa were found to be doubly infected with maize dwarf mosaic (MDMV) and cucumber mosaic virus (CMV). A mixed infection of these two viruses could be maintained in maize plants grown under laboratory conditions. The possibility of synergism or of an interference mechanism between MDMV and CMV in dual infections was investigated and it was found that prior infection with CMV interfered with subsequent infection by MDMV. MDMV and CMV were shown to be non-persistently transmitted by Myzus persicae, Rhopalosiphum padi and Rhopalosipbum maidis aphids. Protoplasts were isolated from maize seedlings and could be viably maintained for up to 66 hours. The maize protoplasts were infected with CMV and MDMV either singly, or together as a mixed inoculum. Infection curves for each virus were plotted. The presence of CMV in a mixed inoculum appeared to prevent infection of the protoplasts by MDMV. Protoplasts were isolated from plants systemically infected with CMV and/or MDMV. Superinfection of protoplasts prepared from CMV infected seedlings with MDMV was not possible. As a possible vehicle for virus infection of protoplasts liposomes were produced. Initially fluorescent dyes were incorporated in them. These were fused to the maize protoplasts. Attempts were made to encapsulate virus particles in the liposomes and fuse them to maize protoplasts but this was not successful.

Bibliography : pages 218-230.