1887

Abstract

A new disorder was observed on southern highbush blueberries in several south-eastern states in the USA. Symptoms included irregularly shaped circular spots or blotches with green centres on the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. Double-stranded RNA was extracted from symptomatic leaves suggesting the presence of virus(es) possibly involved in the disease. Sequencing revealed the presence of a novel RNA virus with a ~14 kb genome divided into four RNA segments. Sequence analyses showed that the virus, for which we propose the name Blueberry necrotic ring blotch virus (BNRBV), possesses protein domains conserved across RNA viruses in the alpha-virus-like supergroup. Phylogenetic inferences using different genes placed BNRBV in a clade that includes the , the genus (CiLV) and the recently characterized (HGSV). Despite the strong genetic relationships found among BNRBV, and HGSV, the genome of BNRBV contains three features that distinguish it significantly from its closest relatives: (i) the presence of two helicase domains with different evolutionary pathways, (ii) the existence of three conserved nucleotide stretches located at the 3′ non-coding regions of each RNA segment and (iii) the conservation of terminal nucleotide motifs across each segment. Furthermore, CiLV and HGSV possess poly(A)-tailed bipartite and tripartite genomes, respectively, whereas BNRBV has a quadra-partite genome lacking a poly(A) tail. Based on these genetic features a new genus is proposed for the classification of BNRBV.

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2013-06-01
2019-10-20
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