Maize Leaf Streak Virus


Maize Leaf Streak Virus



In a Nutshell

    In early infection stages, small, chlorotic, circular spots are found at the base of young leavesThe number of spots then increases and they tend to coalesceThey develop into narrow, white to yellow streaks that grow parallel to the leaf veinsThey can cover the whole leaf and lead to plant stunting, incomplete development of cobs and impaired grain filling

Hosts: %1$s

· Maize


Symptoms vary slightly depending on plant variety and environmental conditions. In early infection stages, small, chlorotic, circular spots can be found at the base of young leaves. As the disease progresses, the number of spots increases and they tend to coalesce. In susceptible plant varieties, the spots develop into narrow, white to yellow streaks that grow parallel to the leaf veins. If the infection occurs early during plant growth, the streaks cover the whole leaf and lead to plant stunting, incomplete development of inflorescences and cobs, as well as impaired grain filling.


Maize leaf streak is predominantly an African disease, but it has also been reported in south-east Asia. It is caused by a virus that is spread through some species of the Cicadulina leafhopper. These acquire the virus by feeding on young growing leaves. The growth cycle of the insect ranges from 22 to 45 days, depending on weather conditions. Temperatures around 20 - 35°C are optimum for its development, and consequently increase the risk of disease for crops. A large group of cereals serve as alternative virus hosts (wheat, oat, rye, barley, sorghum...etc).

Biological Control

Sorry, we don't know of any alternative treatment against MSV . Please get in touch with us in case you know of something that might help to fight this disease. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Chemical Control

Always consider an integrated approach with preventive measures together with biological treatments if available. There is no chemical treatment for virus diseases. The reduction of the population of vectors generally leads to reduced rates of disease transmission. Products based on dimethoate or malathion can be applied to the foliage but this measure should be weighted carefully against the potential yield loss, and the uncertainty regarding disease outbreaks.

Preventive Measures

    Use seeds from healthy plants or from certified sourcesUse tolerant or resistant varieties if availableMonitor the field, pick and destroy any diseased plantIntercrop with alternative hosts that attract the grasshopper and therefore reduce the number of infections on cropsUse barriers to limit the leafhoppers movementsControl weeds in and around the fieldAvoid overlapping two maize crops in the same fieldRotate with legumes such as beans, cowpeas or other non-host crops


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