Olive latent virus 2 (OLV2), a virus with particle shapes resembling those of alfalfa mosaic alfamovirus (AMV), has four major RNA species, two of which (RNA3 and RNA4) were completely sequenced. RNA3 was a bicistronic molecule containing two clear-cut ORFs, one of which (ORF1) coded for a 36·5 kDa polypeptide with conserved motifs of the ‘30K superfamily’ movement proteins and the other (ORF2) encoded a 20 kDa polypeptide identified as the viral coat protein. RNA4, which was a little smaller than RNA3 (2078 nt versus 2438 nt), also differed from RNA3 in a few positions, but its translation did not produce any protein. By contrast, an additional RNA, 1042 nt in size with strong sequence homology with RNA3 and RNA4, was identified in RNA extracts from infected plants. This RNA, which may be a subgenomic form of RNA3 carrying the coat protein cistron, is apparently encapsidated to a very small extent, or not at all. Comparative computer-assisted analysis of virus-coded protein sequences disclosed homologies suggesting that OLV2 may belong to the family , but as an entity separated from the currently known genera.


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