A viroid was isolated from plants using the bidirectional PAGE method for analysis of small circular RNA molecules. The viroid was transmitted to viroid-free plants of the cultivar ‘Aureoreticulata’ by mechanical inoculation. Infected plants did not develop any symptoms. The new viroid species has been named viroid (IrVd). It is a member of the potato spindle tuber viroid group and consists of 370 nucleotides, 227 G+C, 143 A+U (GC content, 61.4%). The most stable rod-like secondary structure of this viroid has 86 G:C, 34 A:U and 12 G:U base pairs with a minimum free energy of -153.4 kcal/mol (-641.2 kJ/mol). The sequence and the position of the terminal conserved region (TCR) within the rod-like secondary structure of IrVd differ from the other known TCRs. The structure of the left terminal domain of IrVd may reflect the result of an intramolecular RNA recombination event.


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