Purified virions of lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV), a tentative member of the closterovirus group, contained two RNAs of approximately 8500 and 7300 nucleotides (RNAs 1 and 2 respectively) and a single coat protein species with of approximately 28000. LIYV-infected plants contained multiple dsRNAs. The two largest were the correct size for the replicative forms of LIYV virion RNAs 1 and 2. To assess the relationships between LIYV RNAs 1 and 2, cDNAs corresponding to the virion RNAs were cloned. Northern blot hybridization analysis showed no detectable sequence homology between these RNAs. A partial amino acid sequence obtained from purified LIYV coat protein was found to align in the most upstream of four complete open reading frames (ORFs) identified in a LIYV RNA 2 cDNA clone. The identity of this ORF was confirmed as the LIYV coat protein gene by immunological analysis of the gene product expressed and in . Computer analysis of the LIYV coat protein amino acid sequence indicated that it belongs to a large family of proteins forming filamentous capsids of RNA plant viruses. The LIYV coat protein appears to be most closely related to the coat proteins of two clostero-viruses, beet yellows virus and citrus tristeza virus.


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