Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 13, 2005
Publication Date: August 12, 2005
Citation: Tzanetakis, I.E., Postman, J.D., Martin, R.R. 2005. Mint virus x: a novel potexvirus associated with symptoms in ‘variegata’ mint. Archives of Virology. v 151:143-153 Interpretive Summary: An ornamental mint clone referred to as 'Variegata' or 'Golden Ginger' mint was examined for the presence of viruses, since its bright yellow veins resemble virus-like symptoms observed in many other crops. Three viruses were discovered in these mint plants, Mint virus X, described in this paper, Strawberry latent ringspot virus and an unknown closterovirus. When plants were freed of these viruses by heat treatment and meristem tip culture, the resulting plants did not exhibit the bright yellow vein symptoms. These treated plants also tested negative for all three of the viruses that had been identified in the original plants. Based on partial sequence analysis, Mint virus X is related to Strawberry mild yellow edge virus and Lily virus X. A detection method was developed and the virus was identified in mint plants from all nurseries that were tested in five different states. Plants that contained only Mint virus X did not show the bright veinbanding symptoms. It is not clear at this time if this virus is a necessary component of symptom development.
Technical Abstract: Mentha × gracilis 'Variegata', an ornamental mint clone first described about 200 years ago, exhibits virus-like vein banding symptoms. Double-stranded RNA and virion isolations revealed the presence of three viruses in a 'Variegata' plant. Cloning and sequencing revealed that one of the viruses was a previously unidentified virus with similarities to members of the Flexiviridae family, designated as Mint virus X (MVX). The complete nucleotide sequence of the virus has been determined. Phylogenetic analysis divulged the close relationship of the virus with Lily virus X and Strawberry mild yellow edge virus, members of the Potexvirus genus. A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction protocol was developed and used for detection of MVX in other 'Variegata' plants. All clones tested, obtained from nurseries around the United States were infected with MVX, making the virus a possible causal agent of the variegated symptoms.