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Virology. 2011 May 10;413(2):216-25. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.02.011. Epub 2011 Mar 6.

A natural M RNA reassortant arising from two species of plant- and insect-infecting bunyaviruses and comparison of its sequence and biological properties to parental species.

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  • 1United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2001 South Rock Road, Fort Pierce, FL 34945, USA.


Reassortment allows multicomponent viruses to exchange genome segments, a process well-documented in the vertebrate- and arthropod-infecting members of the family Bunyaviridae but not between distinct species of the plant- and insect-infecting members of the genus Tospovirus. Genome sequence comparisons of a virus causing severe tospovirus-like symptoms in Florida tomato with Groundnut ringspot virus (GRSV) and Tomato chlorotic spot virus (TCSV) demonstrated that reassortment has occurred, with the large (L) and small (S) RNAs coming from GRSV and the medium (M) RNA coming from TCSV (i.e. L(G)M(T)S(G)). Neither parental genotype is known to occur in the U.S. suggesting that L(G)M(T)S(G) was introduced as a reassortant. L(G)M(T)S(G) was transmitted by western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis [Pergande]), and was not able to overcome the Sw5 resistance gene of tomato. Our demonstration of reassortment between GRSV and TCSV suggests caution in defining species within the family Bunyaviridae based on their ability to reassort.

Published by Elsevier Inc.

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