Properties of Commelina yellow mottle virus's complete DNA sequence, genomic discontinuities and transcript suggest that it is a pararetrovirus

Scott L. Medberry, Benham E Lockhart, Neil E Olszewski

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132 Scopus citations


The non-eveloped bacilliform viruses are the second group of plant viruses known to possess a genome consisting of circular double-stranded DNA. We have characterized the viral transcript and determined the complete sequence of the genome of Commelina yellow mottle virus (CoYMV), a member of this group. Analysis of the viral transcript indicates that the virus encodes a single terminally-redundant genome-length plus 120 nucleotide transcript. A fraction of the transcript is polyadenylated, although the majortty of the transcript is not polyadenylated. Analysis of the genome sequence indicates that the genome is 7489 bp in size and that the transcribed strand contains three open reading frames capable of encoding proteins of 23, 15 and 216 kd. The function of the 25 and 15 kd proteins is unknown. Similarities between the 216 kd polypeptide and the cauliflower mosaic virus coat protein and protease/reverse transcriptase polyprotein suggest that the 216 kd polypeptide is a polyprotein that is proteolytically processed to yield the virion coat protein, a protease, and replicase (reverse transcriptase and ribonuclease H). Each strand of the CoYMV genome is interrupted by site-specific discontinuities. The locations of the 5′-ends of these discontinuities, and the presence and location of a region on the CoYMV transcript capable of annealing with the 3′-end of cytosolic initiator methionine tRNA are consistent with replication by reverse transcription. We have demonstrated that a construct containing 1.3 CoYMV genomes is infective when introduced into Commelina diffusa, the host for CoYMV, using Agrobacterium-mediated infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5505-5513
Number of pages9
JournalNucleic acids research
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 25 1990

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank M. Gopalraj for excellent technical assistance, R. Beachy for providing their RTBV sequence and Monsanto for providing some of the oligonucleotides used in this study. This work was supported by grant IN-13-30-11 from the American Cancer Society to N.O. Published as paper 18,110 of the contribution series of the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station based on research conducted on the Projects 22-79H and 72-14G.


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