Synthesis of cDNA probes by random-priming of a viroid template displays the unusual property of specificity to all members included within a single citrus viroid Group. The specificity of hybridization reactions was influenced by the structural conformation of the viroid RNA template, reaction conditions for reverse transcription and hybridization protocols. Mapping the loci for probe transcription from the CEVd, CVd-IIb, and CVd-IV genomes suggests that a similar structured conformation may be responsible for group specificity. A stem-loop configuration in the viroid template and hybridization target sites can be proposed to be responsible for the availability of the group-specific sequences.


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