Maize chlorotic mottle virus exhibits low divergence between differentiated regional sub-populations.

09 Mar 2018

Maize chlorotic mottle virus has been rapidly spreading around the globe over the past decade. The interactions of maize chlorotic mottle virus with Potyviridae viruses causes an aggressive synergistic viral condition - maize lethal necrosis, which can cause total yield loss. Maize production in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is the most important cereal, is threatened by the arrival of maize lethal necrosis. We obtained maize chlorotic mottle virus genome sequences from across East Africa and for the first time from Ecuador and Hawaii, and constructed a phylogeny which highlights the similarity of Chinese to African isolates, and Ecuadorian to Hawaiian isolates. We used a measure of clustering, the adjusted Rand index, to extract region-specific SNPs and coding variation that can be used for diagnostics. The population genetics analysis we performed shows that the majority of sequence diversity is partitioned between populations, with diversity extremely low within China and East Africa.