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Virology. 2008 Jul 5;376(2):253-7. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 May 7.

A new and distinct species in the genus Caulimovirus exists as an endogenous plant pararetroviral sequence in its host, Dahlia variabilis.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6430, USA.


Viruses in certain genera in family Caulimoviridae were shown to integrate their genomic sequences into their host genomes and exist as endogenous pararetroviral sequences (EPRV). However, members of the genus Caulimovirus remained to be the exception and are known to exist only as episomal elements in the infected cell. We present evidence that the DNA genome of a new and distinct Caulimovirus species, associated with dahlia mosaic, is integrated into its host genome, dahlia (Dahlia variabilis). Using cloned viral genes as probes, Southern blot hybridization of total plant DNA from dahlia seedlings showed the presence of viral DNA in the host DNA. Fluorescent in situ hybridization using labeled DNA probes from the D10 genome localized the viral sequences in dahlia chromosomes. The natural integration of a Caulimovirus genome into its host and its existence as an EPRV suggests the co-evolution of this plant-virus pathosystem.

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