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Virus Genes

R. A. Owens & R. W. Hammond - Molecular Plant Pathology, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA

D. Gundersen-Rindal - Insect Biocontrol Laboratories, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, 20705

T. Candresse - Station de Pathologie Ve´ge´tale, INRA, BP 81, 33883, Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France

Field-grown citrus trees often harbor complex mixtures of 4–5 different viroid species, and the presence of citrus viroid III (CVd-III) has been shown to reduce the rate of tree growth without inducing disease. To more fully define the structure of its quasi-species, we have examined nine citrus viroid complexes for the presence of previously undescribed sequence variants of CVd-III. Analysis of 86 full-length cDNAs generated from these nine viroid complexes by RT-PCR revealed the presence of 20 new CVd-III variants. Chain lengths ranged from 293–297 nucleotides, and sequence changes were confined largely to the lower portions of the central conserved region and variable domain. The previously described variants CVd-IIIa (297 nt) and CVd-IIIb (294 nt) were clearly predominant, but phylogenetic analysis indicated that certain isolates may contain representatives of two additional fitness peaks. At least one group of CVd-III variants appears to have arisen as a result of RNA recombination. Populations recovered from diseased/declining trees were the most diverse, but even dwarfing isolates originating from old line Shamouti trees showed considerable variability.

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Both Point Mutation and RNA Recombination Contribute to the Sequence Diversity of Citrus Viroid III
20

R. A. Owens & R. W. Hammond - Molecular Plant Pathology, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, 20705, USA

D. Gundersen-Rindal - Insect Biocontrol Laboratories, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Beltsville, MD, 20705

T. Candresse - Station de Pathologie Ve´ge´tale, INRA, BP 81, 33883, Villenave d'Ornon Cedex, France

Both Point Mutation and RNA Recombination Contribute to the Sequence Diversity of Citrus Viroid III

Field-grown citrus trees often harbor complex mixtures of 4–5 different viroid species, and the presence of citrus viroid III (CVd-III) has been shown to reduce the rate of tree growth without inducing disease. To more fully define the structure of its quasi-species, we have examined nine citrus viroid complexes for the presence of previously undescribed sequence variants of CVd-III. Analysis of 86 full-length cDNAs generated from these nine viroid complexes by RT-PCR revealed the presence of 20 new CVd-III variants. Chain lengths ranged from 293–297 nucleotides, and sequence changes were confined largely to the lower portions of the central conserved region and variable domain. The previously described variants CVd-IIIa (297 nt) and CVd-IIIb (294 nt) were clearly predominant, but phylogenetic analysis indicated that certain isolates may contain representatives of two additional fitness peaks. At least one group of CVd-III variants appears to have arisen as a result of RNA recombination. Populations recovered from diseased/declining trees were the most diverse, but even dwarfing isolates originating from old line Shamouti trees showed considerable variability.

Scientific Publication
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