The nucleotide sequence of RNA 1 of a German isolate of barley yellow mosaic virus has been determined and compared with a Japanese isolate of the same virus. The sequence identity is 93.6% at the nucleotide level and 96% at the amino acid level. Similar values have been found for the polyproteins of the RNA 2 of both isolates (95%). Both isolates show an RNA 1-encoded protein arrangement similar to that of potyviruses such as tobacco etch virus. In contrast, the polyproteins of the small RNAs (RNA 2) do not show such a similarity to the polyproteins of other potyviruses. However, there is a striking difference between the two isolates in the generally highly conserved active site of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. The German isolate exactly matches the consensus sequences for previously described potyviral RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, whereas the Japanese isolate does not.


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