The two cadang-cadang-associated RNAs (ccRNA-1 and ccRNA-2) occur as fast (f) and slow (s) electrophoretic variants. The detection of these variants is not affected by leaf storage or the nucleic acid extraction method. A systematic investigation has shown that their occurrence is related to the stage of disease development in coconut palms. Fast forms of both ccRNA-1 and ccRNA-2 predominated at the early stage of the disease, while only the (s) form was found at late stages. In some palms at the early stage a transition from the (f) to the (s) form was observed in progressively more recently developing infected fronds. ccRNA-1 (f) and cc-RNA-1 (s) are both circular, they differ in mol. wt., and they have nucleotide sequences in common. Preliminary evidence is presented that inoculum containing the (f) variant is more infectious than that containing the (s) variant.


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