Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus Reported for the First Time in Zambia

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Rabson M. Mulenga, Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, Mount Makulu Central Research Station, Chilanga, Lusaka, Zambia

Laura M. Boykin, The University of Western Australia, ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology and Molecular Sciences, Crawley, Perth 6009, Western Australia, Australia;

Patrick C. Chikoti, Suwilanji Sichilima, and Dickson Ng’uni, Zambia Agriculture Research Institute, Mount Makulu Central Research Station;

Olufemi J. Alabi, Department of Plant Pathology & Microbiology, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Weslaco 78596

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Date of publication: 
July, 2018
The American Phytopathological Society
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A diagnostic survey was conducted in July 2017 in two northern districts of Zambia to investigate presence or absence of cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) and its causal viruses. In total, 29 cassava fields were surveyed and cassava leaf samples were collected from 116 plants (92 symptomatic and 24 non-symptomatic). CBSD prevalence was approximately 79% (23 of 29) across fields. Mean CBSD incidence varied across fields but averaged 32.3% while mean disease severity was 2.3 on a 1-to-5 rating scale. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction screening of all 116 samples with one generic and two species specific primer pairs yielded DNA bands of the expected sizes from all symptomatic plants with the generic (785 bp) and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus (UCBSV)-specific (440 bp) primers. All 24 non-symptomatic samples were negative for UCBSV and all samples tested negative with primers targeting Cassava brown streak virus. The complete genome of a representative isolate of UCBSV (WP282) was determined to be 9,050 nucleotides in length, minus the poly A tail. A comparative analysis of this isolate with global virus isolates revealed its nature as a sequence variant of UCBSV sharing 94 and 96% maximum complete polyprotein nucleotide and amino acid identities, respectively, with isolates from Malawi (MF379362) and Tanzania (FJ039520). This is the first report of CBSD and UCBSV in Zambia, thus expanding the geographical distribution of the disease and its causal virus and further reinforcing the need to strengthen national and regional phytosanitary programs in Africa.

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Mulenga, M. R., Boykin, M. L., Chikoti, P. C., Sichilima, S., Ng’uni, D., Alabi, J. O. (2018). Cassava Brown Streak Disease and Ugandan cassava brown streak virus Reported for the First Time in Zambia. Plant Diseases, [online] Vol (102) (7), 1410-1418. Availble at: h://

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