Submitted to: APS Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: May 25, 2011
Publication Date: August 2, 2011
Citation: Zhou, J., Keller, K.E., Martin, R.R., Tzanetakis, I.E. 2011. Sweet burden of sugarberry - a novel ampelovirus found in Celtis laevigata. APS Annual Meeting. 101(6):S158. Technical Abstract: Virus –like symptoms are observed in several Celtis species across the southern United States. The most striking of these symptoms are seen on sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) where bright yellow mottling appears in late spring and becomes more prominent as the season progresses. Here we report a new virus that is closely associated with the bright mottling symptoms. The new virus has a monopartite, single-stranded RNA genome consisting of approximately 17kb. Protein pairwise comparisons and phylogenetic analysis show that the virus is most closely related to Grapevine leafroll-associated virus-3, the type member of the genus Ampelovirus, family Closteroviridae. The amino acid sequence identities between the two viruses range from 53% for the RNA dependent RNA polymerase to 26% for the coat protein homolog, demonstrating that the new sugarberry virus is a novel member of the genus. Detection protocols have been developed and the virus was detected is several other Celtis species exhibiting yellow mottling symptoms. High numbers of mealybugs, known vectors of ampeloviruses, are often seen on affected trees and transmission studies are underway to determine whether they can vector the virus.