Aphid transmission of maize yellow mosaic virus: an emerging polerovirus


Maize yellow mosaic virus, provisionally referred to MaYMV, is a novel polerovirus reported in China, Brazil, Ecuador, and more recently in Africa. Despite the broad distribution of this potentially emerging virus, information is lacking on transmission, symptomatology, and possible interaction with other maize viruses. As MaYMV belongs to the genus Polerovirus, circulative transmission by aphids was hypothesized. In this study, we tested mechanical and aphid transmission of this virus using symptomatic maize samples collected in different locations of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Along with leaves and whole plants, we also collected aphids in order to test for virus presence. Plant and aphid samples were submitted to total RNA extraction, reverse transcription, and then PCR with specific primers for MaYMV, sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), and maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV). MaYMV was detected in maize samples from different regions of the São Paulo state, often in mixed infections with SCMV and/or MRFV, and in extracts of the corn leaf aphid, Rhopalosiphum maidis. MCMV was not detected in any of the samples. Sanger sequencing of a 947 bp MaYMV amplified fragment from a maize plant sample showed 96% identity in nucleotides to that of a fully sequenced isolate MaYMV-SP1 from Brazil. MaYMV was transmitted by R. maidis, but not mechanically. A MaYMV isolate obtained through aphid transmission caused mosaic symptoms, when in single infection of maize, and more severe symptoms characterized by interveinal necrosis, when in mixed infection with SCMV. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the transmission and epidemiology of MaYMV and other viruses found in coinfection, what is important for disease management.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1


  1. Adams I, Braidwood L, Stomeo F, Phiri N, Uwumukiza B, Feyissa B, Mahuku G, Wangai A, Smith J, Mumford R, Boonham N (2017) Characterising maize viruses associated with maize lethal necrosis symptoms in Sub Saharan Africa. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/161489

  2. Bernreiter A, Garcia Teijeiro R, Jarrin D, Garrido P, Ramos L (2017) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus infecting maize in Ecuador. New Disease Reports 36:11

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Chen S, Jiang GZ, Wu JX, Liu Y, Qian YJ, Zhou XP (2016) Characterization of a novel polerovirus infecting maize in China. Viruses 8:120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Costa TM, Inoue-Nagata AK, Vidal AH, Ribeiro SG, Nagata T (2020) The recombinant isolate of cucurbit aphid-borne yellows virus from Brazil is a polerovirus transmitted by whiteflies. Plant Pathology Online early

  5. Ghosh S, Kanakala S, Lebedev G, Kontsedalov S, Silverman D, Alon T, Mor N, Sela N, Luria N, Dombrovsky A, Mawassi M, Haviv S, Czosnek H, Ghanim M (2019) Transmission of a new polerovirus infecting pepper by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. Journal of Virology 93:e00488–e00419

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Gonçalves MC, Godinho M, Alves-Freitas DMT, Varsani A, Ribeiro SG (2017) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus infecting maize in Brazil. Plant Disease 101:2156–2157

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Gray SM, Gildow FE (2003) Luteovirus–aphid interactions. Annual Review of Phytopathology 41:539–566

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Hammond RW, Kogel R, Ramirez P (1997) Variability of geographically distinct isolates of maize rayado fino virus in Latin America. Journal of General Virology 78:3153–3159

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. King AMQ, Lefkowitz E, Adams MJ, Carstens EB (2011) Virus taxonomy: ninth report of the international committee on taxonomy of viruses. Elsevier, Philadelphia

    Google Scholar 

  10. Krueger EN, Beckett RJ, Gray SM, Miller WA (2016) The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of barley yellow dwarf virus-RMV reveals it to be a new Polerovirus distantly related to other yellow dwarf viruses. Frontiers in Microbiology 4:205

    Google Scholar 

  11. Mahuku G, Lockhart BE, Wanjala B, Jones MW, Kimunye JN, Stewart LR, Cassone BJ, Sevgan S, Nyasani JO, Kusia E, Kumar PL, Niblett CL, Kiggundu A, Asea G, Pappu HR, Wangai A, Prasanna BM, Redinbaugh MG (2015) Maize lethal necrosis (MLN), an emerging threat to maize-based food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. Phytopathology 105:956–965

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Miller WA, Krueger EN, Gray, SM (2013) ICTV taxonomic proposal 2013. 016a, bP: In the family Luteoviridae, creates species maize yellow dwarf virus-RMV in the genus Polerovirus and remove the unassigned species barley yellow dwarf virus-RMV. Available online at: https://talk.ictvonline.org/ictv/proposals/2013.016a-cP.A.v2.Luteoviridae_sprem.pdf

  13. Niblett CL, Claflin LE (1978) Corn lethal necrosis - a new virus disease of corn in Kansas. Plant Disease Report 62:15–19

    Google Scholar 

  14. Palanga E, Longué RDS, Koala M, Néya JB, Traoré O, Martin DP, Peterschmitt M, Filloux D, Roumagnac P (2017) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus infecting maize in Burkina Faso. New Disease Reports 35:26

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Read DA, Featherstone J, Rees DJG, Thompson GD, Roberts R, Flett BC, Mashingaidze K, Berger DK, Welgemoed T, Pietersen G, Schulze SE, Kiula B, Kullaya A, Mbega E (2018) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus (MaYMV) on maize (Zea mays) in Tanzania. Journal of Plant Pathology 101:203

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Redinbaugh MG, Stewart LR (2018) Maize lethal necrosis: an emerging, synergistic viral disease. Annual Review of Virology 5:301–322

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Reinbold C, Gildow FE, Herrbach E, Ziegler-Graff V, Gonçalves MC, Van Den Heuvel J, Brault V (2001) Studies on the role of the minor capsid protein in transport of Beet western yellows virus through Myzus persicae. Journal of General Virology 82:1995–2007

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Rochow WF (1961) A strain of barley yellow dwarf virus transmitted specifically by the corn leaf aphid. Phytopathology 51:809–810

    Google Scholar 

  19. Schenck S, Lehrer AT (2000) Factors affecting the transmission and spread of sugarcane yellow leaf virus. Plant Disease 84:1085–1088

  20. Wamaitha MJ, Nigam D, Maina S, Stomeo F, Wangai A, Njuguna JN, Holton TA, Wanjala BW, Wamalwa M, Lucas T, Djikeng A, Garcia-Ruiz H (2018) Metagenomic analysis of viruses associated with maize lethal necrosis in Kenya. Virology Journal 15:90

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Wang Q, Zhang C, Wang C, Qian Y, Li Z, Hong J, Zhou X (2017) Further characterization of Maize chlorotic mottle virus and its synergistic interaction with Sugarcane mosaic virus in maize. Scientific Reports 7:39960

  22. Whitfield AE, Falk BW, Rotenberg D (2015) Insect vector-mediated transmission of plant viruses. Virology 479:278–289

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Yahaya A, Al Rwahnih M, Dangora DB, Gregg L, Alegbejo MD, Lava Kumar P, Alabi OJ (2017) First report of maize yellow mosaic virus infecting sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) and itch grass (Rottboellia cochinchinensis) in Nigeria. Plant Disease 101:1335

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank Leandro Salto for technical help in the experiments and Roberto Carvalho (LongPing High-Tech Seeds and Biotechnology, Jardinópolis-SP, Brazil) for providing seeds of a susceptible maize hybrid. The second, third, fourth, and last authors received fellowships from the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Author information




MCG and JRSL planed, designed, conducted data analyses, wrote the manuscript, and were responsible for funding; AR executed experimental work, conducted data analyses, and wrote the manuscript; TN, RH, and APD executed experimental work and conducted data analyses.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Marcos C. Gonçalves.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gonçalves, M.C., Ramos, A., Nascimento, T. et al. Aphid transmission of maize yellow mosaic virus: an emerging polerovirus. Trop. plant pathol. (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40858-020-00374-5

Download citation


  • Maize
  • Luteoviridae
  • Vector transmission
  • Rhopalosiphum maidis
  • Symptom synergism