Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, Potyvirus) is a potyvirus with a worldwide distribution, mostly in temperate and mediterranean regions. According to the partial sequences that were available, WMV appeared to share high sequence similarity with Soybean mosaic virus (SMV), and it was almost considered as a strain of SMV in spite of its different and much broader host range. Like SMV, it was also related to legume-infecting potyviruses belonging to the “ Bean common mosaic virus (BCMV) subgroup”. In this paper we obtained the full-length sequence of WMV, and we confirmed that this virus is very closely related to SMV in most of its genome; however, there is evidence for an interspecific recombination in the P1 protein, as the P1 of WMV was 135 amino-acids longer than that of SMV, and the N-terminal half of the P1 showed no relation to SMV but was 85% identical to BCMV. This suggests that WMV has emerged through an ancestral recombination event, and supports the distinction of WMV and SMV as separate taxonomic units.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2004
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