The complete sequence of the 3454 nt of RNA 2 of the Ahlum isolate of beet soil-borne furovirus (BSBV) has been determined starting with two short stretches of cloned cDNA. Unknown parts of the sequence were amplified by means of RT-PCR techniques using combinations of specific and random primers. BSBV RNA 2 is more similar in its genetic organization to potato mop top virus (PMTV) RNA 3 than to any other furoviral RNA, although it is more than 1100 nt longer. Its 3'-end, unlike that of PMTV RNA 3, has the potential to fold into a tRNA-like structure. It contains one large open reading frame for a readthrough protein with a molecular mass of 104 kDa (104K protein) which is interrupted internally by an amber stop codon terminating the coding region for a protein of 19 kDa (19K), most likely the viral coat protein (CP). The readthrough domain of the 104K protein is much larger than that of PMTV, but the N- and C-proximal portions of these domains are similar for the two viruses. No serological relationships were found between the particles of the two viruses, although more than 50% of the amino acid sequences of the putative CPs are identical.


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