Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version

July 1998




The complete nucleotide sequence of wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) has been determined based on complementary DNA clones derived from the 9,384-nucleotide (nt) RNA of the virus. The genome of WSMV has a 130-nt 5&#;&#;leader and 149-nt 3&#;-untranslated region and is polyadenylated at the 3&#;&#;end. WSMV RNA encodes a single polyprotein of 3,035 amino acid residues and has a deduced genome organization typical for a member of the family Potyviridae (5&#;-P1/HC-Pro/P3/6K1/CI/6K2/VPg-NIa/NIb/CP-3&#;). Because WSMV shares with ryegrass mosaic virus (RGMV) the biological property of transmission by eriophyid mites, WSMV has been assigned to the genus Rymovirus, of which RGMV is the type species. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted with complete polyprotein or NIb protein sequences of 11 members of the family Potyviridae, including viruses of monocots or dicots and viruses transmitted by aphids, whiteflies, and mites. WSMV and the monocot-infecting, mite-transmitted brome streak mosaic virus (BrSMV) are sister taxa and share a most recent common ancestor with the whitefly-transmitted sweet potato mild mottle virus, the type species of the proposed genus “Ipomovirus.” In contrast, RGMV shares a most recent common ancestor with aphid-transmitted species of the genus Potyvirus. These results indicate that WSMV and BrSMV should be classified within a new genus of the family Potyviridae and should not be considered species of the genus Rymovirus.