The nucleotide sequences of genomic RNA1 (6795 nt) and RNA2 (5345 nt) of satsuma dwarf virus (SDV), a tentative member of the genus Nepovirus, were determined. The deduced genome organization of SDV showed similarities to the organization in como-, faba- and nepoviruses. There is extensive amino acid sequence similarity in the N-terminal regions of the proteins encoded by RNA1 and RNA2, as reported previously only for tomato ringspot nepovirus. However, unlike definitive nepoviruses, which have a single coat protein, SDV has two coat proteins. SDV RNA2 does not contain the long (> 1300 nt) 3' non-coding region characteristic of some nepoviruses. Phylogenetic analysis of SDV RNA polymerase placed SDV apart from como-, faba- and nepoviruses. These unique features suggest that SDV is distinct from the Comovirus, Fabavirus and Nepovirus genera, and needs to be separated into a new genus, probably within the family Comoviridae.


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