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, 83 (Pt 1), 229-239

Characterization and Complete Nucleotide Sequence of Strawberry Mottle Virus: A Tentative Member of a New Family of Bipartite Plant Picorna-Like Viruses

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Characterization and Complete Nucleotide Sequence of Strawberry Mottle Virus: A Tentative Member of a New Family of Bipartite Plant Picorna-Like Viruses

J R Thompson et al. J Gen Virol.

Abstract

An isolate of Strawberry mottle virus (SMoV) was transferred from Fragaria vesca to Nicotiana occidentalis and Chenopodium quinoa by mechanical inoculation. Electron micrographs of infected tissues showed the presence of isometric particles of approximately 28 nm in diameter. SMoV-associated tubular structures were also conspicuous, particularly in the plasmodesmata of C. quinoa. DsRNA extraction of SMoV-infected N. occidentalis yielded two bands of 6.3 and 7.8 kbp which were cloned and sequenced. Gaps in the sequence, including the 5' and 3' ends, were filled using RT-PCR and RACE. The genome of SMoV was found to consist of RNA1 and RNA2 of 7036 and 5619 nt, respectively, excluding a poly(A) tail. Each RNA encodes one polyprotein and has a 3' non-coding region of approximately 1150 nt. The polyprotein of RNA1 contains regions with identities to helicase, viral genome-linked protein, protease and polymerase (RdRp), and shares its closest similarity with RNA1 of the tentative nepovirus Satsuma dwarf virus (SDV). The polyprotein of RNA2 displayed some similarity to the large coat protein domain of SDV and related viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of the RdRp region showed that SMoV falls into a separate group containing SDV, Apple latent spherical virus, Naval orange infectious mottling virus and Rice tungro spherical virus. Given the size of RNA2 and the presence of a long 3' non-coding region, SMoV is more typical of a nepovirus, although atypically for a nepovirus it is aphid transmissible. We propose that SMoV is a tentative member of an SDV-like lineage of picorna-like viruses.

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