The complete nucleotide sequence of an isolate of prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV) RNA 3 has been determined. Elucidation of the amino acid sequence of the proteins encoded by the two large open reading frames (ORFs) allowed us to carry out comparative and phylogenetic studies on the movement (MP) and coat (CP) proteins in the ilarvirus group. Amino acid sequence comparison of the MP revealed a highly conserved basic sequence motif with an amphipathic α-helical structure preceding the conserved motif of the ‘30K superfamily’ proposed by Mushegian and Koonin (26) for MP’s. Within this ‘30K’ motif a strictly conserved transmembrane domain is present in all ilarviruses sequenced so far. At the amino-terminal end, prune dwarf virus (PDV) has an extension not present in other ilarviruses but which is observed in all bromo- and cucumoviruses, suggesting a common ancestor or a recombinational event in the Bromoviridae family. Examination of the N-terminus of the CP’s of all ilarviruses revealed a highly basic region, part of which resembles the Arg-rich motif that has been characterized in the RNA-binding protein family. This motif has also been found in the other members of the Bromoviridae family, suggesting its involvement in a structural function. Furthermore this region is required for infectivity in ilarviruses. The similarities found in this Arg-rich motif are discussed in terms of this process known as genome activation. Finally, phylogenetic analysis of both the MP and CP proteins revealed a higher relationship of A1MV to PNRSV, apple mosaic virus (ApMV) and PDV than any other member of the ilarvirus group. In that sense, A1MV should be considered as a true ilarvirus instead of forming a distinct group of viruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 1997
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