Betty E. Owor

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Panicum streak virus (PanSV; genus Mastrevirus, family Geminiviridae) is, together with maize streak virus (MSV), sugarcane streak virus (SSV), sugarcane streak Reunion virus (SSRV) and sugarcane streak Egypt virus (SSEV), one of the currently described “African streak virus” (AfSV) species [6]. As with all the other AfSV species other than MSV, very little(More)
Despite the demonstration that geminiviruses, like many other single stranded DNA viruses, are evolving at rates similar to those of RNA viruses, a recent study has suggested that grass-infecting species in the genus Mastrevirus may have co-diverged with their hosts over millions of years. This "co-divergence hypothesis" requires that long-term mastrevirus(More)
A high-throughput method of isolating and cloning geminivirus genomes from dried plant material, by combining an Extract-n-Amp-based DNA isolation technique with rolling circle amplification (RCA) of viral DNA, is presented. Using this method an attempt was made to isolate and clone full geminivirus genomes/genome components from 102 plant samples,(More)
Maize streak virus (MSV; family Geminiviridae, genus Mastrevirus), the causal agent of maize streak disease, ranks amongst the most serious biological threats to food security in subSaharan Africa. Although five distinct MSV strains have been currently described, only one of these - MSV-A - causes severe disease in maize. Due primarily to their not being an(More)
Maize streak virus (MSV), which causes maize streak disease (MSD), is one of the most serious biotic threats to African food security. Here, we use whole MSV genomes sampled over 30 years to estimate the dates of key evolutionary events in the 500 year association of MSV and maize. The substitution rates implied by our analyses agree closely with those(More)
BACKGROUND Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is an important global cause of severe acute respiratory infections in young children and the elderly. The epidemiology of HMPV in sub-Saharan Africa is poorly described and factors that allow its recurrent epidemics in communities not understood. METHODS We undertook paediatric inpatient surveillance for HMPV in(More)
Maize streak disease, caused by the A strain of the African endemic geminivirus, maize streak mastrevirus (MSV-A), threatens the food security and livelihoods of subsistence farmers throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Using a well-established transient expression assay, this study investigated the potential of a spliceable-intron hairpin RNA (hpRNA) approach to(More)
Leaf samples from 155 maize streak virus (MSV)-infected maize plants were collected from 155 farmers' fields in 23 districts in Uganda in May/June 2005 by leaf-pressing infected samples onto FTA Classic Cards. Viral DNA was successfully extracted from cards stored at room temperature for 9 months. The diversity of 127 MSV isolates was analysed by(More)
Maize streak virus (MSV) contributes significantly to the problem of extremely low African maize yields. Whilst a diverse range of MSV and MSV-like viruses are endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and neighbouring islands, only a single group of maize-adapted variants - MSV subtypes A(1)-A(6) - causes severe enough disease in maize to influence yields(More)