A South African geminivirus for which we propose the name bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) has been isolated from French bean (Phaseolus vulgaris cv. Bonus) showing stunting, chlorosis and leaf curl symptoms. A full-length cloned copy of the viral genome produced characteristic symptoms of the disease when reintroduced into French bean by agroinoculation, and was systemically infectious in Nicotiana benthamiana, N. tabacum, Lycopersicon esculentum, Datura stramonium and Arabidopsis thaliana. BeYDV resembles subgroup I geminiviruses which infect monocotyledonous plants in having a single DNA component, two non-overlapping virion-sense (V1 and V2) and two overlapping complementary-sense (C1 and C2) coding regions, and an intron within the complementary-sense coding regions that is excised to produce a C1C2 fusion protein. It is most closely related to tobacco yellow dwarf virus from Australia, the only subgroup I geminivirus previously known to infect dicotyledonous plants, although it is sufficiently dissimilar (65% nucleotide sequence identity) to be considered a distinct virus.


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