Isolates of tobacco mild green mosaic tobamovirus (TMGMV) were obtained from 58 plants of in southern California and placed in one of two groups (Small type and Large type) based on the size of the subgenomic RNA for the coat protein (CP). The CP sequence differed by no more than one amino acid for the two types, and the Small type was identical to that published for TMGMV. Thirty-six of the isolates had a double-stranded (ds)RNA profile that matched that of type TMGMV, and the nucleotide sequence of the 3′ untranslated region (3′UTR) of six of these isolates was similar to the published sequence of TMGMV. Twenty-two isolates had a larger dsRNA for the CP subgenomic RNA. Six of these were sequenced and all had a repeat sequence of between 147 and 165 bases in the part of the 3′UTR that is involved in the formation of pseudoknots. These novel but common isolates are predicted to have six rather than three pseudoknots. Small types (three pseudoknots=type TMGMV) yielded twice as much virus after purification as Large types (six pseudoknots). The two groups of isolates could be distinguished in . (Large type, but not Small type gave a systemic infection), and . (Small type but not Large type induced systemic lethal necrosis). Almost all isolates of TMGMV used in this study were initially associated with satellite tobacco mosaic virus (STMV), and both types supported STMV experimentally.


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