The nucleotide sequence of the genome of erysimum latent tymovirus (ELV) has been determined. It closely resembles those of the other four sequenced tymoviral genomes in its gene organization and composition, but is the smallest (6034 nucleotides) and most distinct of them. Furthermore the 78 non-coding nucleotides at the 3′ terminus of the ELV genome are unable to form a complete tRNA-like structure like that reported for other tymoviruses. Comparisons of the five tymovirus genomes and their encoded proteins indicate that they have probably evolved from the progenitor tymovirus by independent progressive mutational change without genetic recombination. Comparisons of the sequences of the two non-virion proteins of five tymoviruses, and virion proteins of 17 tymoviruses, revealed no specific similarities between those of ELV and turnip yellow mosaic virus that could explain why their host ranges and symptoms are so similar, yet differ, in this respect, from ononis yellow mosaic, kennedya yellow mosaic and eggplant mosaic tymoviruses.


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