1887

Abstract

Single point mutations in the pathogenicity domain of (PSTVd) can have a dramatic effect on disease expression, and only three substitutions are required for the spontaneous conversion of the type strain PSTVd-Intermediate to the rapidly replicating, highly pathogenic variant RG1 (Gruner ., , 60–69, 1995) . To identify available evolutionary pathways linking these two variants, we mutagenized five positions in an infectious cDNA copy of PSTVd-Intermediate and screened the resulting mixture of 768 sequences for neutral or near-neutral mutants. Numerical simulations based on the bioassay data indicate that the 23 variants recovered represent >80 % of all such sequences. RG1 was the only naturally occurring variant recovered, and the overall pattern of sequence changes observed indicates that PSTVd-Int occupies a comparatively steep peak within the fitness landscape.

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2003-03-01
2021-10-21
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