Amino acid sequences of 16 geminivirus replication-associated proteins and 15 coat proteins were aligned and a new computer program was used to calculate the minimum mutation distances for all possible pairwise comparisons. These data were used to construct phylogenetic trees. Trees based on coat proteins had two main branches which were positively correlated with vector specificities of the viruses. Trees based on replication-associated proteins also had two main branches which were positively correlated with viral host specificities for either monocotyledonous or dicotyledonous plants. Therefore, evolutionary pressures on coat proteins and replication-associated proteins are probably highly influenced by vectors and hosts, respectively. Geminiviruses that infect dicotyledonous plants may be divided further by geographical origins into Old World and New World viruses. These results suggest the possible geographical origins of some geminiviruses, that new taxa should be erected, and have implications for distinguishing viruses and strains.


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