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J Struct Biol. 2010 Dec;172(3):363-71. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2010.06.022. Epub 2010 Jul 3.

Structure of Fusarium poae virus 1 shows conserved and variable elements of partitivirus capsids and evolutionary relationships to picobirnavirus.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.


Filamentous fungus Fusarium poae is a worldwide cause of the economically important disease Fusarium head blight of cereal grains. The fungus is itself commonly infected with a bisegmented dsRNA virus from the family Partitiviridae. For this study, we determined the structure of partitivirus Fusarium poae virus 1 (FpV1) to a resolution of 5.6Å or better by electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. The main structural features of FpV1 are consistent with those of two other fungal partitiviruses for which high-resolution structures have been recently reported. These shared features include a 120-subunit T=1 capsid comprising 60 quasisymmetrical capsid protein dimers with both shell and protruding domains. Distinguishing features are evident throughout the FpV1 capsid, however, consistent with its more massive subunits and its greater phylogenetic divergence relative to the other two structurally characterized partitiviruses. These results broaden our understanding of conserved and variable elements of fungal partitivirus structure, as well as that of vertebrate picobirnavirus, and support the suggestion that a phylogenetic subcluster of partitiviruses closely related to FpV1 should constitute a separate taxonomic genus.

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