The nucleotide sequence of the 3′-terminal 4773 nucleotides of the RNA of a widely divergent, aphidtransmissible strain of plum pox potyvirus isolated from Egypt (PPV-El Amar) was determined. The sequenced region covers the carboxy terminus of the cylindrical inclusion (CI) gene, and the putative 6K protein, the NIa protease, the NIb RNA polymerase and the coat protein genes, linked together as one large open reading frame (ORF) in a fashion similar to the canonical genomic organization of other potyviruses. The large ORF encoding the polyprotein is followed by a 217 nucleotide non-coding region and a poly(A) tail. However, whereas the three PPV strains previously sequenced show levels of identity in excess of 98%, PPV-El Amar shows levels of heterogeneity of 20% in the nucleotide sequence and 10% in the amino acid sequence, when compared with these previously sequenced strains. The N-terminal region of the capsid protein, postulated to be involved in the aphid transmission mechanism of the virus, was found to be the region which differed most between PPV-El Amar and the other strains.


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