Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae

Authored by: Dongyou Liu , László Galgóczy , László Kredics , Máté Virágh , Csaba Vágvölgyi

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Agriculture is a tempting target for bioterrorists because of the economic and social impact it exerts. Countries relying on agriculture to feed their people and having large sectors of economy based on agriculture are especially vulnerable to bioterrorists’ attacks that target their agriculturally important plants. 1 Corn is an important grain crop worldwide, especially in the United States where approximately 30 million hectares of land is planted with this cereal every year. 2 An oomycetous fungus, Sclerophthora rayssiae var. zeae, causes the brown stripe downy mildew (BSDM) disease of corn and results in enormous yield losses in tropical Asia (e.g., 20%–90% in India). Although this plant pathogenic fungus is not present outside Asia, S. rayssiae var. zeae is included in the select agent list of the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) as a bioterror agent because it has the potential to pose a severe threat to global plant health and economy. 2,3

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