In grapevine chrome mosaic and tomato black ring viruses (GCMV and TBRV), as in many other nepoviruses, the 3′ non-translated regions (3′NTR) are identical between the two genomic RNAs. We have investigated the structure of the 3′NTR of two recombinant isolates which contain GCMV RNA-1 and TBRV RNA-2. In these isolates, the 3′NTR of RNA-1 was transferred to RNA-2, thus restoring the 3′ identity. The transfer occurred within three passages, and probably contributes to the spread of randomly appearing mutations from one genomic RNA to the other. The site of recombination is near the 3′ end of the open reading frame.


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