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Viruses associated with cassava mosaic disease and their alternative hosts along Nigeria-Cameroon border

L.A. Ezeji
A.O. Adediji
C.K. Nkere
O.C. Ogbe
J.T. Onyeka
G.I. Atiri


Cassava mosaic disease (CMD) threatens cassava production across the African continent. Because CMD is widespread in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), it is particularly important to monitor border regions to prevent the introduction of other cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) viruses and strains into regions otherwise considered still free of the viruses. The objective of this study was to establish the occurrence of viruses associated with CMD and their alternate host plants along the Nigeria-Cameroon border. One hundred leaf samples from cassava plants and weed species were collected across 21 locations, along the border regions of Cross River State; and assessed for CMD incidence and severity. Nucleic acid extracts were obtained and used to test for African cassava mosaic virus (ACMV) and East African cassava mosaic virus (EACMV), using polymerase chain reactions. Plants from ten, seven and four locations had mild, moderate and severe CMD symptoms, respectively. Of the 100 samples collected, 68 were symptomatic and 32 were asymptomatic for CMD; while five weed species were symptomatic. ACMV alone was detected in six symptomatic and three asymptomatic cassava leaves. EACMV was singly detected in one symptomatic and two asymptomatic cassava leaves; while 13 cassava leaves from ten locations had mixed ACMV/EACMV infections. One asymptomatic cassava leaf from Ikang tested positive for ACMV and EACMV. EACMV alone was detected on a symptomatic weed species, Sclerocarpus africanus. The occurrence of viruses causing CMD in Nigeria, including the border regions, has now been further documented, and S. africanus is now verified as a host of EACMV. There is a need for further studies on other plants that may be putative reservoirs for cassava mosaic viruses, towards the development of integrated management strategies.

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eISSN: 2072-6589
print ISSN: 1021-9730