The nucleotide sequence of the large (L) genome segment of impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) has been determined, and herewith the complete nucleotide sequence of the whole, tripartite genome of this important tospovirus has been elucidated. The L RNA is 8776 nucleotides long and of negative polarity, containing one large ORF on the viral complementary strand. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequence of the INSV L RNA primary translation product (330.3 kDa) with those of the L RNAs of other members of the family Bunyaviridae reveals that this protein represents the putative viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. A cluster dendrogram of the (putative) RNA polymerases indicates that the genera Tospovirus and Tenuivirus, though both encompassing ambisense plant-infecting viruses, have different affinities to the animal-infecting Bunyaviridae, tospoviruses being most closely related to the genus Bunyavirus, and tenuiviruses to the genus Phlebovirus.


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