The complete genomic sequence of a new virus, first found infecting oats in Wales, UK, has been determined. The genome is a positive-sense ssRNA molecule, 4114 nucleotides in length, examination of which indicates the presence of four ORFs. The first ORF initiating at the 5′ terminus (ORF1) encodes a protein with a predicted of 23476 (p23). ORF2 extends through the amber termination codon of ORF1 to give a protein with a predicted of 84355 (p84). The readthrough domain of p84 contains amino acid sequence similarities with a number of putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerases. ORF3 is in a different reading frame from ORF1/2 and encodes a protein with an of 48231 (p48), identified as the coat protein by direct peptide sequencing. ORF4 nests within ORF3 but is in a different frame from it and codes for a protein with a predicted of 8220 (p8). Comparisons of peptide sequence, particularly within the putative polymerase region and within the S domain of the coat protein, highlight similarities with members of both the tombusvirus and carmovirus groups. The coat protein region shows most similarity with members of the tombusvirus group, whilst the size and predicted strategy of the genome seem to be intermediate between that of the carmovirus and tombusvirus groups. These features highlight possible evolutionary links with each group whilst being distinct from both. We propose the name of oat chlorotic stunt for this new virus.


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