The bisegmented genome of a double-stranded (ds) RNA virus from the fungus isolate Rhs 717 was characterized. The larger segment, dsRNA 1, is 2363 bases long whereas the smaller segment, dsRNA 2, has 2206 bases. The 5′ ends of the coding strands of dsRNA 1 and dsRNA 2 are highly conserved (100% identity over 47 bases), and contain inverted repeats capable of forming stable stem–loop structures. Analysis of the coding potential of each of the two segments showed that dsRNAs 1 and 2 could code for polypeptides of 730 aa (bases 86–2275; molecular mass 86 kDa) and 683 aa (bases 79–2130; molecular mass 76 kDa), respectively. The 86 kDa polypeptide has all the motifs of dsRNA RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RDRP), and has significant homology with putative RDRPs of partitiviruses from and . The 76 kDa protein shows homology with the putative capsid proteins (CP) of the same viruses. Northern blot analysis revealed no subgenomic RNA species, consistent with the fact that the long open reading frames encoding the putative RDRP and CP cover the entire length of the respective dsRNAs.


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