1887

Abstract

The uncapped and ORF-less subgenomic RNA5 is produced in subgroup II strains of cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), but not in subgroup I strains. Its initiation nucleotide (nt 1903) is in a 21 nt conserved sequence (Box1) that is absent in CMV subgroup I. Putative non-coding RNA structural elements surrounding Box1 in the plus and minus strand were identified and by RNase probing. Four main stem–loop structures (SLM, SLL, SLK and SLJ) were identified between nt 1887 and 1999 of isolate R-CMV (subgroup II), with notable differences within SLM and SLL between the two strands. Mutation of a stem–loop within SLM, even when the predicted wild-type structure was maintained, showed significant reduction in RNA5 levels . Three mutants containing 3–4 nt substitutions between positions −39 and +49 showed significantly reduced levels of RNA5, while another similar mutant at positions 80–83 had RNA5 levels comparable to wild-type. Deletion of Box1 resulted in similar levels of RNA3 and 4 as wild-type, while eliminating RNA5. Insertion of Box1 into a subgroup I isolate was not sufficient to produce RNA5. However, in a mutant with an additional 21 nt of R-CMV 3′ of Box1 (positions −1 to +41), low levels of RNA5 were detected. Taken together, these results have identified regions of the viral genome responsible for RNA5 production and in addition provide strong evidence for the existence of newly identified conserved structural elements in the 5′ part of the 3′ untranslated region.

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2008-07-01
2020-01-26
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