A viral isolate, designated N-1 and obtained from a gentian (Gentiana scabra) plant that exhibited mosaic symptoms, was transmitted mechanically to nine plant species in six families. These plants are known as hosts of fabaviruses. The N-1 isolate was composed of isometric particles 30 nm in diameter and included two RNA molecules of approximately 6.0 and 3.6 kb in length, as estimated by agarose gel electrophoresis. The RNAs were encapsidated separately in two of the three types of particle. Each particle contained two distinct proteins with Mr values of 39.3 × 103 and 26.6 × 103, as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Analysis of complete nucleotide sequences of the RNAs suggested that each encoded a single large polyprotein, in which putative functional proteins were arranged in a manner similar to those in Broad bean wilt virus 1 (BBWV-1) and Broad bean wilt virus 2 (BBWV-2), which are members of the genus Fabavirus (family Comoviridae). Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of the proteins indicated that those of isolate N-1 shared 38 to 66% identity with those of BBWV-1 and BBWV-2 but only 16 to 42% identity with those of a comovirus, Cowpea mosaic virus. Phylogenetic analysis, based on the amino acid sequences of RNA polymerase, placed isolate N-1 in a separate lineage from BBWV-1 and BBWV-2. In indirect-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, isolate N-1 exhibited distant serological relationship to BBWV-1, BBWV-2, and Lamium mild mosaic virus, another fabavirus. Our results suggest that N-1 represents a new species of Fabavirus. We propose the name Gentian mosaic virus for this new species.
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