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Mol Plant Pathol. 2017 Sep;18(7):925-936. doi: 10.1111/mpp.12450. Epub 2016 Aug 8.

Identification and characterization of privet leaf blotch-associated virus, a novel idaeovirus.

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Istituto per la Protezione Sostenibile delle Piante CNR, UO Bari, Via Amendola 122/D, 70126 Bari, Italy.
Dipartimento di Scienze del Suolo, della Pianta e degli Alimenti, Università degli Studi di Bari 'Aldo Moro', Via Amendola 165/A, 70126 Bari, Italy.
Institute for Genomics, Biocomputing and Biotechnology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS 39762, USA.
Dipartimento di Agraria, Università degli Studi di Napoli 'Federico II', Via Università, 100, 80055 Portici, Italy.


A novel virus has been identified by next-generation sequencing (NGS) in privet (Ligustrum japonicum L.) affected by a graft-transmissible disease characterized by leaf blotch symptoms resembling infectious variegation, a virus-like privet disease with an unclear aetiology. This virus, which has been tentatively named 'privet leaf blotch-associated virus' (PrLBaV), was absent in non-symptomatic privet plants, as revealed by NGS and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Molecular characterization of PrLBaV showed that it has a segmented genome composed of two positive single-stranded RNAs, one of which (RNA1) is monocistronic and codes for the viral replicase, whereas the other (RNA2) contains two open reading frames (ORFs), ORF2a and ORF2b, coding for the putative movement (p38) and coat (p30) proteins, respectively. ORF2b is very probably expressed through a subgenomic RNA starting with six nucleotides (AUAUCU) that closely resemble those found in the 5'-terminal end of genomic RNA1 and RNA2 (AUAUUU and AUAUAU, respectively). The molecular signatures identified in the PrLBaV RNAs and proteins resemble those of Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV), currently the only member of the genus Idaeovirus. These data, together with phylogenetic analyses, are consistent with the proposal of considering PrLBaV as a representative of the second species in the genus Idaeovirus. Transient expression of a recombinant PrLBaV p38 fused to green fluorescent protein in leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana, coupled with confocal laser scanning microscopy assays, showed that it localizes at cell plasmodesmata, strongly supporting its involvement in viral movement/trafficking and providing the first functional characterization of an idaeovirus encoded protein.


Ligustrum japonicum; chlorosis; idaeovirus; leaf blotch; movement protein; privet disease; subcellular localization

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