The complete nucleotide sequence of the genome of artichoke mottle crinkle virus (AMCV), a member of the tombusvirus group, has been determined. The genome is 4790 nucleotides (nt) in length. A full-length cDNA of the AMCV genome has been cloned in pUC9 down-stream of the T7 RNA polymerase promoter. Transcripts were infective when inoculated onto and plants. The AMCV genome contains five open reading frames (ORFs). The first ORF from the 5′ terminus (ORF1) encodes a protein with a predicted of 33K. ORF2 extends through the amber termination codon of ORF1 to yield a polypeptide of predicted 92K and which is the putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. ORF3 codes for the coat protein (41K). Two nested ORFs in different reading frames (ORFs 4 and 5) code for a 22K and a 19K polypeptide respectively. Sequence homologies suggest that the 22K protein could be involved in cell-to-cell movement of virus. ORFs 3, 4 and 5 are translated from two 3′ coterminal subgenomic (sg) RNAs, the 5′ termini of which have been mapped. The two sg RNAs are 2155 (sg1) and 934 (sg2) nt in length. ORF3 is expressed from sg1 RNA whereas ORFs 4 and 5 are potentially expressed from sg2 RNA. Time course experiments with protoplasts indicate that during AMCV infection both positive and negative strands of genomic and sg RNAs are produced and that sg2 RNA is produced before and at a higher level than sg1 RNA.


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