The nucleotide sequences of the coat protein genes and 3′ non-translated regions (3′-NTRs) of three isolates of bean common mosaic virus (NL1, NL3 and NY15) and one isolate of blackeye cowpea mosaic virus (W) were determined. Comparison of these sequences revealed that the coat proteins of NL1, NY15 and W were identical in size (287 amino acids) and exhibited an overall sequence similarity (94 to 97%), and 84 to 98% in their N-terminal regions. Furthermore, their 3′-NTRs were very similar in length [253 to 256 nucleotides (nt)] and sequence (93 to 96% similarity). In contrast, the coat protein of NL3 had only 261 amino acids and showed 87 to 89% similarity with NL1, NY15 and W whereas its N-terminal region revealed only 46 to 61% similarity. The 3′-NTR of NL3 also displayed appreciable differences, both in length (240 nt) and sequence (56 to 63% similarity). These results, in combination with earlier serological findings, justify the conclusion that NL1, NY15 and W should be considered strains of the same virus, i.e. bean common mosaic virus, and that NL3 is a strain of a different potyvirus for which the name ‘bean black root virus’ is proposed.


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