Arch Virol (2006) 151: 143–153
Mint virus X: a novel potexvirus associated
with symptoms in ‘Variegata’ mint
I. E. Tzanetakis
, J. D. Postman
, and R. R. Martin
Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and Center for Gene Research
and Biotechnology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.
USDA-ARS, National Clonal Germplasm Repository, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.
USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR, U.S.A.
Received April 7, 2005; accepted May 13, 2005
Published online August 12, 2005
Summary. Mentha × gracilis ‘Variegata’, an ornamental mint clone ﬁrst de-
scribed 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.
Mint (Mentha spp.) belongs to the family Lamiaceae and includes about 30 species
found in the temperate regions of the world . Mint has been used for centuries
for its medicinal properties and in the food and fragrance industries [3, 26, 34].
Unlike the importance of the crop and the virus-like symptoms exhibited by
many mint clones, little is known about the virus diseases of the crop, and our
The nucleotide sequence data reported in this communication have been submitted to
the GenBank nucleotide sequence database and have been assigned the accession numbers
AY789138 for the genome of MVX and AY921609–AY921611 for the 3
terminal regions of
three other isolates.