Arch Virol (2006) 151: 905–919
Vanilla mosaic virus isolates from French Polynesia
and the Cook Islands are Dasheen mosaic virus strains
that exclusively infect vanilla
, M. N. Pearson
, M. Grisoni
, D. Cohen
, and D. Beck
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
CIRAD, Pˆole de Protection des Plantes, Saint Pierre, La R´eunion
Hort Research, Mt. Albert Research Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Received May 9, 2005; accepted October 14, 2005
Published online January 19, 2006
Summary. Sequence was determined for the coat protein (CP) gene and 3
translated region (3
NTR) of two vanilla mosaic virus (VanMV) isolates from
Vanilla tahitensis, respectively from the Cook Islands (VanMV-CI) and French
Polynesia (VanMV-FP). Both viruses displayed distinctive features in the
N-terminal region of their CPs; for VanMV-CI, a 16-amino-acid deletion includ-
ing the aphid transmission-related DAG motif, and for VanMV-FP, a stretch of
GTN repeats that putatively belongs to the class of natively unfolded proteins.
VanMV-FP CP also has a novel DVG motif in place of the DAG motif, and an
uncommon Q//V protease cleavage site. The sequences were compared to a range
of Dasheen mosaic virus (DsMV) strains and to potyviruses infecting orchids.
Identity was low to DsMV strains across the entire CP coding region and across
NTR, but high across the CP core and the CI-6K2-NIa region. In accordance
with current ICTV criteria for species demarcation within the family Potyviridae,
VanMV-CI and VanMV-FP are strains of DsMV that exclusively infect vanilla.
Vanilla mosaic virus (VanMV)  was ﬁrst reported in 1986 in French Polynesia
 as a member of the genus Potyvirus causing leaf distortion and mosaic in
Vanilla tahitensis vines. It was subsequently detected serologically in V. tahitensis
in the Cook Islands and in V. planifolia (syn. V. fragrans) in Fiji and Vanuatu .
Wisler et al.  demonstrated that VanMV is serologically related to dasheen
The sequences reported in this paper are deposited with GenBank (EMBL) under the
accession numbers AJ616719, AJ616720, AJ616721, and AJ616722.