Tomato golden mosaic virus (TGMV) is a bipartite geminivirus with six well-characterized genes. An additional open reading frame (ORF), , lies within the essential gene. Recent studies of monopartite, dicot-infecting geminiviruses have revealed that mutations in their analogous ORFs have host-specific effects on infectivity, symptomatology, virus movement and/or viral DNA accumulation. We have investigated whether TGMV has a similar host-specific requirement for . The phenotypes of three TGMV mutants were determined in a range of hosts, which included species that revealed mutant phenotypes for monopartite geminiviruses. Each TGMV mutant was indistinguishable from wild-type TGMV in all hosts tested. Additional analyses of double mutants revealed no evidence for functional redundancy between and the , or genes. In contrast to the putative C4 proteins of monopartite geminiviruses, TGMV AL4, if it is expressed, is either non-functional, or functionally redundant with an essential TGMV gene product.


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