In Mali, the economy is mainly based on agriculture. Rice contributes about 5% of the GDP and constitutes a strategic sector with enormous potential. Despite its strategic importance, rice cultivation faces multiple biotic constraints among which rice yellow mottle virus disease is the most important one with an incidence varying from 60 to 100%. To reduce yield loses due to this disease, we determined the mode of action of two rice yellow Mottle virus (RYMV) pathotypes previously isolated in rice fields in Mali, and identified by Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Both types significantly decrease rice height with a more pronounced effect with the type A, which showed more aggressivity even on the SK20-28 genotype recognized as RYMV disease-tolerant variety. Root dry weight, grain production and tiller number were the most affected by the disease. Except for tiller number, the virus type A was always more virulent than the type B. Significant positive correlation was found between disease severity and % reduction in tiller number, percentage reduction in plant height, and grain production. The data presented root inhibition as a mode of action of the two RYMV pathotypes isolated in Mali. This information should be used in order to improve the management strategies for these pathogens on field rice in Mali.
Key words: Rice yellow mottle virus, root inhibition, rice, Mali.
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