|ZHOU, JING - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|HU, XIAOJUN - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|ATHA, BENJAMIN - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|MCFARLAND, CLINT - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|FOSTER, JOSEPH - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
|HURTADO-GONZALES, OSCAR - Animal And Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)|
Submitted to: Archives of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/6/2023
Publication Date: 2/11/2023
Citation: Zhou, J., Hu, X., Reis Vieira, P.C., Atha, B., Mcfarland, C., Foster, J., Hurtado-Gonzales, O. 2023. Molecular characterization of horse nettle virus A, a new member of subgroup B in the genus Nepovirus. Archives of Virology. 168:Article 86. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-023-05708-7
Interpretive Summary: Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense L.) is a herbaceous perennial commonly found on roadsides and in agricultural fields. The plant propagates by seeds and overwintering creeping rhizomes, which give it a growth advantage over other weed species. This together with the fact that very few herbicides are effective at controlling it, raises the concern that this noxious weed could serve as a virus reservoir. In 2021, a horse nettle showing yellowing symptoms was collected in an apple orchard located at Beltsville, Maryland, U.S. A new RNA virus was discovered from a horse nettle plant using DNA sequencing. Its full genome was characterized and found to consist of two molecules: RNA1 and RNA2. Preliminary screening suggests that this virus may be carried by a nematode named Xiphinema rivesi. This information will be useful to plant pathologists, virologists and others with interests in virus control, as well as control of weeds in agricultural settings.
Technical Abstract: A new RNA virus was discovered from a horse nettle plant using high throughput sequencing (HTS) and its full genome was characterized consisting of two molecules: RNA1 and RNA2 which are 7522 and 4710 nucleotides in length, respectively. Each molecule encodes a single open reading frame flanked by 5’ and 3’ untranslated regions (UTRs) followed by a poly(A) tail at the 3’ end. Genome organization and the phylogenetic analysis revealed its close relationship with subgroup B of nepoviruses, sharing minimal similarity with any known nepoviruses and the recombination analysis also revealed its evolutionary history within the same subgroup. These results suggest the new virus, provisionally named as horse nettle virus A represents a new species within the genus Nepovirus. Preliminary nematode screening carrying this novel virus along with taxonomic classification suggested the potential vector to be Xiphinema rivesi, which were isolated from soil and roots of the symptomatic horse nettle plant. Further research is needed to ascertain the transmissibility of the virus as well as to study the virus population diversity.