Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version

March 2002


Published in Journal of General Virology (2002), 83, 895–906.


North American and Eurasian isolates of Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV; genus Tritimovirus) and Oat necrotic mottle virus (ONMV; genus Rymovirus) were examined. Nine WSMV isolates differentially infected oat, barley, inbred maize line SDp2 and sorghum line KS56. The WSMV isolates clustered into groups based on phylogenetic analyses of the capsid protein (CP) cistron and flanking regions. WSMV isolates from the United States (US) and Turkey were closely related, suggesting recent movement between continents. Although more divergent, WSMV from Iran (WSMV-I) also shared a most recent common ancestor with the US and Turkish isolates. Another group of WSMV isolates from central Europe and Russia may represent a distinct Eurasian population. Complete genome sequences of WSMV from the Czech Republic (WSMV-CZ) and Turkey (WSMV-TK1) were determined and comparisons based on complete sequences yielded relationships similar to those based on partial sequences. ONMV-Pp recovered from blue grass (Poa pratensis L.) in Germany displayed the same narrow host range as ONMV-Type from Canada. Western blots revealed a heterologous relationship among CP of WSMV and ONMV. Phylogenetic analyses of the capsid protein cistron and flanking genomic regions indicated that WSMV and ONMV are related species sharing 74.2–76.2% (nucleotide) and 79.2–81.0% (amino acid) identity. Thus, ONMV should be removed from the genus Rymovirus and designated a definitive member of the genus Tritimovirus. Phylogenetic analyses further suggest that Sugarcane streak mosaic virus is not a tritimovirus, and may represent a new genus within the family Potyviridae.