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Arch Virol. 2010 Nov;155(11):1843-7. doi: 10.1007/s00705-010-0760-7. Epub 2010 Jul 29.

Association of an atypical alphasatellite with a bipartite New World begomovirus.

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Instituto de Estudios Avanzados, Centro de Biotecnología, Caracas, Venezuela.


The complete sequence of a watermelon-infecting Venezuelan begomovirus was obtained; it corresponds to that of the partially characterized melon chlorotic mosaic virus (MeCMV). MeCMV is a typical bipartite New World begomovirus. A putative alphasatellite, MeCMVa1, was found associated with MeCMV. This is the first satellite detected in the New World, and the first natural association of an alphasatellite with a bipartite begomovirus. The sequence of MeCMVa1 diverged highly from those of other alphasatellites, except for two atypical ones, which, like MeCMVa1, had a putative ORF2 embedded in the Rep-encoding ORF1. These findings raise new questions about the origin and evolution of subviral agents associated with begomoviruses.

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