We have isolated a previously undescribed potexvirus from Alternanthera pungens (Amaranthaceae) in southern Queensland, Australia. This virus was shown to have a moderately wide experimental host range, infecting plants in nine of the twelve families tested. Using specific antibodies, a plate trapped antigen ELISA was developed, allowing detection of virions down to 0.8 μg/ml of leaf extract. Virions averaged 554 nm long and had a capsid protein with a M r of 23.1 × 10 3 . A portion of the genome containing the capsid protein ORF and 3′ untranslated region was cloned and sequenced. From both serological and amino acid sequence comparisons, the virus was shown to be closely related to papaya mosaic potexvirus (PMV). To determine the taxonomic status of the virus, we assessed variation in the amino acid sequence of capsid proteins of distinct species within the potexvirus genus, as well as variation between strains of the same virus. When the core region of the capsid proteins were compared, distinct species had a maximum of 62.2% sequence identity, whereas strains had a minimum of 88.8% identity. By comparison, the core region of the capsid proteins of the Alternanthera virus and PMV had 79.8 identity. We have concluded that the Alternanthera virus is a different species from PMV, and its relationship with PMV resembles that of potyvirus subgroup members.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1999
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