The sequence of tomato ringspot virus (TomRSV) RNA-2 has been determined. It is 7273 nucleotides in length excluding the 3′ poly(A) tail and contains a single long open reading frame (ORF) of 5646 nucleotides in the positive sense beginning at position 78 and terminating at position 5723. A second in-frame AUG at position 441 is in a more favourable context for initiation of translation and may act as a site for initiation of translation. The TomRSV RNA-2 3′ non-coding region is 1550 nucleotides in length. The coat protein is located in the C-terminal region of the large polypeptide and shows significant but limited amino acid sequence similarity to the putative coat proteins of the nepoviruses tomato black ring (TBRV), Hungarian grapevine chrome mosaic (GCMV) and grapevine fanleaf (GFLV). Comparisons of the coding and non-coding regions of TomRSV RNA-2 and the RNA components of TBRV, GCMV, GFLV and the comovirus cowpea mosaic virus revealed significant similarity for over 300 amino acids between the coding region immediately to the N-terminal side of the putative coat proteins of TomRSV and GFLV; very little similarity could be detected among the non-coding regions of TomRSV and any of these viruses.


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