Currently, the family Tombusviridae encompasses thirteen viral genera that contain single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genomes and isometric virions; the exception being the genus Umbravirus, whose members do not encode a coat protein (CP). A new genus, tentatively named Pelarspovirus, is proposed to be added to this family and would include five members, with Pelargonium line pattern virus recommended as the type species. Viruses assigned to this proposed genus have monopartite genomes encoding five open reading frames (ORFs) that include two 5′-proximal replication proteins, two centrally located movement proteins (MP1 and MP2) and a 3′-proximal CP that, at least for pelargonium line pattern virus (PLPV), has been shown to act also as suppressor of RNA silencing. Distinguishing characteristics of these viruses include i) production of a single, tricistronic subgenomic RNA for expression of MP and CP genes, ii) presence of a non-AUG start codon (CUG or GUG) initiating the MP2 ORF, iii) absence of AUG codons in any frame between the AUG initiation codons of MP1 and CP genes, and iv) sequence-based phylogenetic clustering of all encoded proteins in separate clades from those of other family members.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 7, 2015
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