Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2004
Publication Date: July 1, 2004
Citation: Tzanetakis, I.E., Postman, J.O., Martin, R.R. 2004. A new virus in mint may be the missing link of the family closteroviridae. Meeting Abstract. Technical Abstract: In our effort to describe the causal agent(s) of the variegation symptom in Mentha gentilis L. known also as 'Golden Ginger Mint' or 'Green and Gold', we cloned portions of three RNA viruses, two of which were undescribed previously. One of these viruses belongs to the family Closteroviridae, one of the most diverse positive-strand RNA virus families. We have acquired more than 7 Kb of the genome of the virus and developed a molecular test for detection of the virus, and work is under way to identify other natural and experimental hosts of the virus. The portion of the genome that has been sequenced to date includes the polymerase, the heat shock protein 70 homolog and three of the downstream genes including one of the coat proteins. Database searches and phylogenetic analyses of the gene sequence available indicate that the virus shares common features with all three genera of the family, making it rather difficult to position the virus phylogenetically. There are at least two other viruses sequenced to date that are not assigned to a genus in the family but that is because of the lack of similarities with the viruses of each group unlike the mint closterovirus which shows similarity with all three genera. The features of the newly described virus makes it the focal point of the diversity of the Closteroviridae as it is described today.