We have synthesized and mapped a cDNA library representing the one major dsRNA element associated with hypovirulence in strain NB58 of the chestnut blight fungus, , which was isolated from recovering chestnut trees in New Jersey, U.S.A. The linear dsRNA has a size of approximately 12·5 kbp and is polyadenylated at the 3′ terminus of one strand. Molecular hybridization experiments indicate that there is sequence similarity between the NB58 dsRNA and dsRNAs from European isolates of , but not among dsRNAs of NB58 and those associated with other North American isolates. Hybridization experiments with mapped cDNA clones representing different regions of the 12·5 kbp dsRNA indicate that the termini and the 3′-proximal two-thirds (relative to the plus strand) are more conserved among NB58 and the European isolates than the rest of the 5′-proximal one-third. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the termini of NB58 dsRNA suggests common organizational features between it and the dsRNA from French-derived strain EP713.


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