Diagnosis and control of cereal viruses in the middle east

Aboul Ata E. Aboul-Ata*, Hamed Mazyad, Ahmad Kamal El-Attar, Ahmed Mohamed Soliman, Ghandi Anfoka, Muhammad Zeidan, Rena Gorovits, Iris Sobol, Henryk Czosnek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Middle Eastern countries are major consumers of small grain cereals. Egypt is the biggest bread wheat producer with 7.4 million tons (MT) in 2007, but at the same time, it had to import 5.9. MT. Jordan and Israel import almost all the grains they consume. Viruses are the major pathogens that impair grain production in the Middle East, infecting in some years more than 80% of the crop. They are transmitted in nonpersistent, semipersistent, and persistent manners by insects (aphids, leafhoppers, and mites), and through soil and seeds. Hence, cereal viruses have to be controlled, not only in the field but also through the collaborative efforts of the plant quarantine services inland and at the borders, involving all the Middle Eastern countries. Diagnosis of cereal viruses may include symptom observation, immunological technologies such as ELISA using polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies raised against virus coat protein expressed in bacteria, and molecular techniques such as PCR, microarrays, and deep sequencing. In this chapter, we explore the different diagnoses, typing, and detection techniques of cereal viruses available to the Middle Eastern countries. We highlight the plant quarantine service and the prevention methods. Finally, we review the breeding efforts for virus resistance, based on conventional selection and genetic engineering.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationAdvances in Virus Research
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages29
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in Virus Research
ISSN (Print)0065-3527
ISSN (Electronic)1557-8399

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by a grant from the US Agency for International Development, Middle East Research and Cooperation (MERC) program, Project M21-037 “Monitoring of cereal virus and virus-like diseases for prevention through regional detection and quarantine systems.” We acknowledge Mrs Daniella Kafri and Mr. Doron Bournstein from PPIS for their valuable information and quarantine facility images.


  • Cereal virus vectors
  • Cereal viruses
  • Cereals
  • Coat protein
  • Microarray
  • Middle East
  • PCR
  • Sequencing
  • Serology


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