Mentha × gracilis ‘Variegata’, an ornamental mint clone first described about 200 years ago, exhibits virus-like vein banding symptoms. Double-stranded RNA and virion isolations revealed the presence of three viruses in a ‘Variegata’ plant. Cloning and sequencing disclosed that one of the viruses was a previously unidentified species with similarities to members of the Flexiviridae family, designated as Mint virus X (MVX). The complete nucleotide sequence of the virus was determined. Phylogenetic analysis divulged the close relationship of the virus with lily virus X and strawberry mild yellow edge virus, members of the Potexvirus genus. A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction protocol was developed and used for detection of MVX in other ‘Variegata’ plants. All clones tested, obtained from nurseries around the United States were infected with MVX, making the virus a possible causal agent of the variegated symptoms.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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