The complete nucleotide sequence (1759 nt) of the ssDNA genome of porcine circovirus (PCV) was determined from a cloned dsDNA replicative form isolated from PCV-infected cells. Sequence analysis detected no significant nucleic acid or protein similarity with another animal circovirus, chicken anaemia virus (CAV) but, surprisingly, the highest protein similarity was obtained between the product of the largest predicted PCV ORF (ORF1; encoding a potential protein of 35.7 kDa) and a putative protein encoded by the plant circovirus banana bunchy top virus (BBTV). High protein similarity was also detected with the other plant circoviruses subterranean clover stunt virus (SCSV) and coconut foliar decay virus (CFDV). This region of protein identity corresponds with the putative plant circovirus replication-associated protein (Rep). The presence of a nonanucleotide sequence at the apex of a potential-stem loop structure, identical to that found in the plant circoviruses CFDV and SCSV and similar (one mismatch) to that found in the plant circovirus BBTV and in the geminiviruses, suggests that rolling-circle replication may operate during PCV DNA replication. These findings show that PCV is unique in that it bridges the gap between animal and plant circoviruses. The taxonomic relationship of PCV with other members of the Circoviridae is discussed.


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