A virus with isometric virus particles (ca. 25 nm) was isolated from an apple tree and named Apple latent spherical virus (ALSV). Virus particles purified from infected formed two bands with densities of 1·41 and 1·43 g/cm in CsCl equilibrium density-gradient centrifugation, indicating that the virus is composed of two components. The virus had two ssRNA species (RNA1 and RNA2) and three capsid proteins (Vp25, Vp24 and Vp20). The complete nucleotide sequences of RNA1 and RNA2 were determined to be 6815 nt and 3384 nt excluding the 3′ poly(A) tail, respectively. RNA1 contains two partially overlapping ORFs encoding polypeptides of molecular mass 23 kDa (‘23K’; ORF1) and 235 kDa (‘235K’; ORF2); RNA2 has a single ORF encoding a polypeptide of 108 kDa (‘108K’). The 235K protein has, in order, consensus motifs of the protease cofactor, the NTP-binding helicase, the cysteine protease and the RNA polymerase, in good agreement with the gene arrangement of viruses in the . The 108K protein contains an LPL movement protein (MP) motif near the N terminus. Direct sequencing of the N-terminal amino acids of the three capsid proteins showed that Vp25, Vp20 and Vp24 are located in this order in the C-terminal region of the 108K protein. The cleavage sites of the 108K polyprotein were Q/G (MP/Vp25 and Vp25/Vp20) and E/G (Vp20/Vp24). Phylogenetic analysis of the ALSV RNA polymerase domain showed that ALSV falls into a cluster different from the nepo-, como- and fabavirus lineages.


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