Bean yellow dwarf virus (BeYDV) is an atypical member of the geminivirus genus Mastrevirus that infects dicotyledonous plants. BeYDV DNA contains six open reading frames (ORFs) with the capacity to encode proteins in excess of 10 kDa. Two virion-sense ORFs (V1 and V2) and two complementary-sense ORFs (C1 and C2) have homologues in all mastreviruses, while ORFs C3 and C4 are not conserved. To investigate their functions, each of the ORFs has been truncated by either frame-shifting or the introduction of a stop codon. We demonstrate that an ORF V1 mutant replicated efficiently in Nicotiana tabacum protoplasts but was unable to systemically infect Phaseolus vulgaris and Datura stramonium, consistent with a role for V1 protein in virus movement. However, the mutant was able to systemically infect Nicotiana benthamiana although the onset of symptoms was appreciably delayed in comparison with wild-type virus. Disruption of ORF V2, encoding the coat protein, prevented systemic infection of all three hosts but the mutant replicated in protoplasts. Both ORF C1 and ORF C2 were essential for replication in protoplasts. Modification of the complementary-sense splice donor and acceptor sequences also prevented replication. Removal of the intron prevented systemic infection, although the intronless mutant was able to produce functional replication-associated protein (Rep) and replicated efficiently in protoplasts. ORFs C3 and C4 were not required for systemic infection. Our results indicate that four ORFs are spatially and functionally conserved in mastreviruses that infect both monocotyledonous and dicotyledonous plants.


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