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Virus Res. 2013 Oct;177(1):75-86. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2013.07.015. Epub 2013 Jul 30.

Characterization of burdock mottle virus, a novel member of the genus Benyvirus, and the identification of benyvirus-related sequences in the plant and insect genomes.

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Institute of Plant Science and Resources (IPSR), Okayama University, 2-20-1, Chuo, Kurashiki 710-0046, Japan. Electronic address:


The complete nucleotide sequence of the burdock mottle virus (BdMoV) isolated from an edible burdock plant (Arctium lappa) in Japan has been determined. BdMoV has a bipartite genome, whose organization is similar to RNA1 and RNA2 of benyviruses, beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), beet soil-borne mosaic virus (BSBMV), and rice stripe necrosis virus (RSNV). BdMoV RNA1 (7038 nt) contains a single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 249-kDa polypeptide that consists of methyl-transferase, helicase, papain-like protease, AlkB-like, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domains. The AlkB-like domain sequence is not present in the proteins encoded by other known benyviruses, but is found in replication-associated proteins of viruses mainly belonging to the families Alfaflexiviridae and Betaflexiviridae. BdMoV RNA2 (4315 nt) contains six ORFs that are similar to those of benyviruses: these are coat protein (CP), CP readthrough, triple gene block movement and cysteine-rich proteins. Phylogenetic analyses showed that BdMoV is more closely related to BNYVV and BSBMV than to RSNV. Database searches showed that benyvirus replicase-related sequences are present in the chromosomes of a chickpea plant (Cicer arietinum) and a blood-sucking insect (Rhodnius prolixus). Some other benyvirus-related sequences are found in the transcriptome shotgun libraries of a few species of plants and a bark beetle. Our results show that BdMoV is a distinct species of the genus Benyvirus and that ancestral and extant benyviruses may have infected or currently infect a wide range of hosts, including plants and insects.


AlkB; Benyvirus; Burdock mottle virus; Endogenous viral element; Paleovirology; Transcriptome shotgun assembly

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