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Sequence diversity of wheat mosaic virus isolates

Lucy R. Stewart
Virus research 2016 v.213 pp. 299-303
Aceria tosichella, Emaravirus, High Plains virus, RNA, barley, corn, genetic variation, genome, mites, nucleocapsid, nucleotide sequences, sequence diversity, viruses, wheat, Kansas, Nebraska, Ohio
Wheat mosaic virus (WMoV), transmitted by eriophyid wheat curl mites (Aceria tosichella) is the causal agent of High Plains disease in wheat and maize. WMoV and other members of the genus Emaravirus evaded thorough molecular characterization for many years due to the experimental challenges of mite transmission and manipulating multisegmented negative sense RNA genomes. Recently, the complete genome sequence of a Nebraska isolate of WMoV revealed eight segments, plus a variant sequence of the nucleocapsid protein-encoding segment. Here, near-complete and partial consensus sequences of five more WMoV isolates are reported and compared to the Nebraska isolate: an Ohio maize isolate (GG1), a Kansas barley isolate (KS7), and three Ohio wheat isolates (H1, K1, W1). Results show two distinct groups of WMoV isolates: Ohio wheat isolate RNA segments had 84% or lower nucleotide sequence identity to the NE isolate, whereas GG1 and KS7 had 98% or higher nucleotide sequence identity to the NE isolate. Knowledge of the sequence variability of WMoV isolates is a step toward understanding virus biology, and potentially explaining observed biological variation.