Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND) – A Review

Temesgen Deressa


Maize lethal necrosis is a serious disease of maize in Africa from its first appearance in Kenya. In Ethiopia the disease was observed during in the previous assessment and it was confirmed by ELISA test. The disease has now gained the momentum in spreading to many countries of East African where maize crop is grown simply because of insufficient knowledge on how to manage the disease. It has therefore raised a major concern in Eastern Africa communities because of the effect associated. The disease is naturally known to affect varieties of maize resulting in chlorotic mottling of the leaves, severe stunting and necrosis which as a result hinders the physiological processes of the plant such as photosynthesis, chlorophyll formation as well as denaturing enzymes necessary for the crop to produce, this further leads to low maize yields or plant death. Maize Lethal Necrosis disease is caused by double infection with Maize chlorotic mottle virus (MCMV) and any of the cereal viruses in Potyviridae group; Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV), Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) or Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV). Highly affected areas may experience a massive yield loss of over 95% and this will affect total maize yield produced in the region. Evidence from previous studies indicated that most farmers had little knowledge on MLND and its control mechanisms. Further evidence showed that, there was limited research on crop diseases and more particularly in maize lethal necrosis disease. This paper deals with detailed review on the salient sequence of events associated with the occurrence of MLND, the present understanding on vector control-crop management experiences and findings all over the world that could potentially used to prevent spread of MLND in Ethiopia.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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