Analysis of the diversity of African streak mastreviruses using PCR-generated RFLPs and partial sequence data

J A Willment, D P Martin, E P Rybicki

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Maize streak virus (MSV) is the most economically significant member of a diverse group of African grass-infecting Mastrevirus species in the family Geminiviridae. We designed a single set of degenerate primers which enables the PCR amplification of an approximately 1300 bp DNA fragment spanning both conserved (the RepA gene) and variable (the long intergenic region and MP gene) portions of these viruses' genomes. Using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of PCR products obtained from 39 MSV, one SSV, and two PanSV isolates, it was possible to both identify the different virus species, which differ in nucleotide sequence by up to 40%, and to differentiate between MSV isolates sharing up to 99% sequence identity. The reliability of the RFLP data for typing the MSV isolates was verified by the phylogenetic analysis of the partial genomic nucleotide sequences of a representative subset of the MSV isolates. Based on both the RFLP and sequence data, the MSV isolates could be clearly differentiated into the four groups: these were a group of predominantly maize-infecting isolates, and three groups containing grass/wheat-infecting isolates. RFLP analysis also revealed a number of mixed virus infections in which, in certain instances, it was possible to identify individual population members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-87
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Virological Methods
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Primers
  • Geminiviridae
  • Genome, Viral
  • Plant Diseases
  • Poaceae
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Sequence Homology
  • Zea mays


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