A cDNA library was generated from purified RNA of watermelon leaf mottle virus (WLMV) (Genus Potyvirus ). Two overlapping clones totaling 2,316 nucleotides at the 3′terminus of the virus were identified by immunoscreening with coat protein antiserum. The sequence analyses of the clones indicated an open reading frame (ORF) of 2,050 nucleotides which encoded part of the replicase and the coat protein, a 243-nucleotide non-coding region (3′UTR), and 23 adenine residues of the poly (A) tail. The taxonomic status of WLMV was determined by comparisons of the sequence of the cloned coat protein gene and 3′UTR with potyvirus sequences obtained from GenBank. The nucleotide sequence identities of WLMV compared with 17 other potyviruses ranged from 55.6 to 63.5% for the coat protein, and from 37.2 to 48.3% for the 3′UTR. Phylogenetic analyses of the coat protein region and the 3′UTR indicated that WLMV did not cluster with other potyviruses in a clade with high bootstrap support. The coat protein gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and a polyclonal antiserum was prepared to the expressed coat protein. In immunodiffusion tests, WLMV was found to be serologically distinct from papaya ringspot virus type W, watermelon mosaic virus 2, zucchini yellow mosaic virus, and Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus. In Western blots and ELISA, serological cross-reactivity with other cucurbit potyviruses was observed. Serological and sequence comparisons indicated that watermelon leaf mottle virus is a distinct member of the Potyvirus genus.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 1, 2000
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