A novel virus was identified in banana ( Musa spp). Analysis of the last 2917 nucleotides of its positive strand genomic RNA showed five open reading frames corresponding, from 5′ to 3′, to a truncated ORF coding for a replication-associated protein, three ORFs coding for a movement-associated triple gene block (TGB) and a capsid protein (CP) gene. This genome organization is similar to that of some members of the Flexiviridae family such as potexviruses and foveaviruses. This virus was named Banana virus X (BVX). Comparative sequence analysis showed that BVX is only distantly related to other members of the Flexiviridae family, in which it appears to define a new genus. BVX produces defective RNAs derived from its genomic RNA by non-homologous recombination. Three distinct pairs of donor/acceptor recombination sites involving short direct nucleotide repeats were characterized, accounting for deletions of 1268, 1358 and 1503 nucleotides. Contrary to the situation encountered for Potexviruses, these recombination sites are located within the TGB1 and CP genes and result in a truncated TGB1 protein.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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