Arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) is a nepovirus that is serologically distantly related to grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV). Both ArMV and GFLV induce grapevine degeneration disease. Several ArMV isolates, unlike isolates of GFLV, produce upon translation of RNA2 a polyprotein (P2) that forms a double band in polyacrylamide-SDS gels. Cloning of full-length copies of RNA2 of an ArMV isolate from grapevine (ArMV-S) revealed that this isolate contained two RNA2s of different length, called RNA2-U and RNA2-L. The two species were not readily separated by electrophoresis of the virion RNA under denaturing gel electrophoresis conditions but could be distinguished by analysis of primer extension and translation products. The size difference of the two RNA2s is due mostly if not exclusively to differences in their coding regions. The 124 kDa RNA2-U-encoded polyprotein P2′ and the 119 kDa RNA2-L-encoded polyprotein P2″, which comigrate, respectively, with the upper and lower polyprotein bands produced by RNA2 of ArMV-S, were more than 95% identical except in their N-terminal domains. maturation experiments and sequence comparisons indicate that the N-terminal products of P2′ and P2″ have a molecular mass of 31 kDa and 26 kDa. The genomic organization proposed is similar to that of GFLV RNA2.


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