Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #378080

Research Project: Characterizing and Detecting Pathogens to Ensure Safe Exchange of Plant Germplasm

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: New virus from the family Tombusviridae infecting sugarcane

item TAHIR, MUHAMMAD - Bahauddin Zakariya University
item Bolus, Stephen
item Grinstead, Sam
item MCFARLANE, SHARON - South African Sugarcane Research Institute
item Mollov, Dimitre

Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2020
Publication Date: 1/7/2021
Publication URL:
Citation: Tahir, M.N., Bolus, S.J., Grinstead, S.C., Mcfarlane, S., Mollov, D.S. 2021. New virus from the family Tombusviridae infecting sugarcane. Archives of Virology.

Interpretive Summary: Sugarcane is a globally important bioenergy and food crop. Viral diseases affect sugarcane production by reducing yields and cane quality. Viruses also impact the exchange of germplasm and hinder cultivar improvement when material is subject to quarantine regulations. In this research, we described a new sugarcane virus. It’s genome characteristics and relatedness to known viruses was determined. The new virus is a member of an interesting group of RNA plant viruses that do not encode their own coat protein. These findings will facilitate reliable detection methods to screen sugarcane genetic material, and helps develop better quarantine measures to exchange germplasm more safely.

Technical Abstract: Many viral diseases of sugarcane negatively affect yield. A sugarcane accession originating from South Africa exhibiting mosaic symptoms was processed for high throughput sequencing. Bioinformatic analyses revealed two known sugarcane viruses and a contig around 2,800 nucleotides resembling umbra-like viruses in the family Tombusviridae. The sequence of the viral contig was confirmed by cloning and Sanger sequencing, and the ends of the virus sequence were determined. Open reading frame analysis revealed the presence of four ORFs. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete virus sequence showed that this virus clusters with other umbra-like viruses in the Tombusviridae family.