With the introduction of cutting-grown Petunia x hybrida plants on the European market, a new potyvirus which showed no serological reaction with antisera against any other potyviruses infecting petunias was discovered. Infected leaves contained flexuous rod-shaped virus particles of 750 – 800 nm in length and inclusion bodies (pinwheel structures) typical for potyviruses in ultrathin leaf sections. The purified coat protein with a M r of approximately 36 kDa could be detected in Western immunoblots with a specific antibody to the coat protein of the petunia-infecting virus. The 3′ end of the viral genome encompassing the 3′ non-coding region, the coat protein gene, and part of the NIb gene was amplified from infected leaf material by IC/PCR using degenerate and specific primers. Sequences of PCR-generated cDNA clones were compared to other known sequences of potyviruses. Maximum homology of 56% was found in the 3′ non-coding region between the petunia isolate and other potyviruses. A maximum homology of 69% was found between the amino acid sequence of the coat protein of the petunia isolate and corresponding sequences of other potyviruses. These data indicate that the petunia-infecting virus is a previously undescribed potyvirus and the name petunia flower mottle virus (PetFMV) is suggested.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 1998
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