In studying the distribution and genetic diversity of Plum pox virus (PPV) in Russia, over a dozen new PPV isolates belonging to the strain Winona (PPV-W) were identified by immunocapture reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction with the PPV-W-specific primers 3174-SP-F3/3174-SP-R1. Isolates were detected in two geographically distant regions of European Russia (Northern Caucasus and Moscow regions) in naturally infected plum (Prunus domestica), blackthorn (P. spinosa), Canadian plum (P. nigra), and downy cherry (P. tomentosa). The new PPV-W isolates were shown to be serologically related but not identical by triple-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and Western blotting analysis using the monoclonal antibody (MAb) 5B-IVIA and MAbs specific to the N-terminal epitopes of PPV-W isolate 3174. Analysis of nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of the (C-ter)NIb-(N-ter)CP genome region indicate great genetic diversity among isolates, with phylogenetic analysis revealing seven clades. Isolates P1 and P3 found in plum in the south of Russia clustered closely with the putative ancestral PPV-W isolate LV-145bt from Latvia, while isolate 1410-7 found in P. nigra in Moscow appears to be closely related to the Canadian isolate W3174. The data obtained indicate wide dissemination of PPV-W isolate in stone fruit in the European part of the former USSR.
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