In all, 70 of 296 leaf samples (23.6%) collected from faba bean (Vicia faba) plants showing leaf yellowing and stunting in Ethiopia gave nanovirus-positive reactions when studied by triple-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using broad-spectrum monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) specific to nanoviruses. Further analysis of these samples with seven discriminating MAbs revealed contrasting epitope profiles that were categorized into roughly three serogroups, designated A, B, and C. Serogroup A was found in 89% of the nanovirus-positive samples whereas serogroups B and C were infrequently encountered. Sequence analysis of DNA-S and DNA-U1 of serogroup A, B, and C isolates suggested that each represents a distinct nanovirus species. Serogroup A comprised isolates of Faba bean necrotic stunt virus reported earlier only from Ethiopia and Morocco. The DNA-R, -S, -U1, and -U2 sequences of a serogroup B isolate closely resembled those of Faba bean necrotic yellows virus, providing first molecular evidence for its occurrence in Ethiopia. Sequence analysis of the eight genomic DNAs of a representative serogroup C isolate (Eth-231) showed that it shared overall nucleotide and amino acid sequence identities of only ≤70 and ≤74%, respectively, with other nanoviruses. This suggests that Eth-231 represents a new nanovirus species, for which the name faba bean yellow leaf virus is proposed.
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