Full-length cDNA clones from which infectious transcripts could be generated were constructed from the genomic RNAs of two distinct strains of peanut stunt cucumovirus (PSV), PSV-ER and PSV-W. PSV-ER, a subgroup I strain, is known to support efficient replication of satellite RNA (satRNA) in infected plants, whereas PSV-W, a subgroup II strain, does not support satRNA replication. Although artificial reassortants (pseudorecombinants) of all possible combinations of infectious transcripts representing RNA1, RNA2 and RNA3 were infectious, only those having RNA1 from PSV-ER supported the replication of satRNA. These results demonstrate conclusively that support of PSV satRNA replication maps to RNA1. Comparisons of secondary structure predictions of the C-terminal helicase-like domain of the 1a proteins of four PSV strains belonging to two subgroups did not reveal any obvious differences between strains that differ in satRNA support. The complete nucleotide sequence of RNA1 from strains PSV-ER and PSV-W were determined and found to be 79% identical. Sequence comparison analysis of RNA1 sequences of cucumoviruses confirmed the placement of the PSV strains into two distinct subgroups.


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