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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » National Germplasm Resources Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #381324

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

Location: National Germplasm Resources Laboratory

Title: An umbra-related virus found in Vasconcellea x heilbornii (Caricaceae)

item CORNEJO-FRANCO, JUAN - Centro De Investigaciones Biotecnologicas Del Ecuador
item FLORES, FRANCISCO - Centro De Investigaciones Biotecnologicas Del Ecuador
item Mollov, Dimitre
item QUITO-AVILA, DIEGO - Centro De Investigaciones Biotecnologicas Del Ecuador

Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/11/2021
Publication Date: 5/27/2021
Citation: Cornejo-Franco, J., Flores, F., Mollov, D.S., Quito-Avila, D. 2021. An umbra-related virus found in Vasconcellea x heilbornii (Caricaceae). Archives of Virology.

Interpretive Summary: Babaco is a tropical fruit (family Caricaceae) related to papaya. Fruit production in Ecuador has been declining due to diseases caused by different pathogens, including viruses. In this study, we used high throughput sequencing technology to investigate potential viruses infecting babaco. We identified a new virus infecting babaco in Ecuador. The complete sequence of the virus genome and its relatedness to known viruses was determined. These findings help develop reliable detection methods for the virus, and facilitate further research on the impact of viruses on babaco fruit production.

Technical Abstract: The complete sequence of a new viral RNA from babaco (Vasconcellea x heilbornii) was determined. The genome consisted of 4,584 nucleotides organized in two non-overlapping open reading frames (ORFs 1 and 2), a 9-nt-long noncoding region (NCR) at the 5’ terminus and a 1,843 -nt-long NCR at the 3’ terminus. Sequence comparisons of ORF 2 revealed homology to the RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase (RdRp) of several umbra- and umbra-related viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of the RdRp placed the new virus in a well-supported and cohesive clade that includes umbra-like viruses reported from papaya, citrus, opuntia, maize and sugarcane hosts. This clade shares a most recent ancestor with the umbraviruses but has different genomic features. The creation of a new genus, within the Tombusviridae, is proposed for the classification of these novel viruses.