The cloning and nucleotide sequence of a new bipartite geminivirus found in Cuba is described. DNA A (2620 nt) and DNA B (2586 nt) presented a genomic structure resembling that of other geminiviruses transmitted by Bemisia tabaci . Both components had a common region of 168 nt with a 95% identity. Typical elements involved in replication and transcription were found in this region, though group-characteristic arrangement of iterons was not conserved in this virus. Sequence was compared with geminivirus sequences deposited in the GenBank. Interestingly, when total DNAs or individual ORFs and deduced amino acid sequences were compared, the highest scores were for different viruses. It showed to be most closely related to tomato mottle virus (81.9% and 65.5% similarity with DNAs A and B, respectively) and a member of the abutilon mosaic cluster of New World Begomoviruses. When clones A and B were co-agroinoculated they resulted highly infectious and induced symptoms in Nicotiana benthamiana plants. The A component alone was infectious but induced only mild symptoms, while the B component was not infectious. The presence of viral DNA in N. benthamiana plants was confirmed by dot-blot hybridization using specific probes. These data show that the cuban isolate is a new geminivirus for which the name of Havana tomato virus is proposed.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1998
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