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Molecular, serological, and biological characterization of a novel carlavirus infecting potatoes in China.
Y. LI (1), R. Zhang (1), H. Xiang (1), H. Abouelnasr (1), D. Li (1), J. Yu (1), J. H. McBeath (2), C. Han (1). (1) China Agricultural University, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China; (2) University of Alaska-Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK, U.S.A.

A new carlavirus, tentatively named <i>Potato virus H</i> (PVH), was found on potato plants displaying mild symptoms in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. PVH was confirmed by genome sequencing, serologically reactions, electron microscopy and host index assay. The PVH particles were filamentous and slightly curved, with a modal length of 570 nm. The complete RNA genomic sequences of two isolates of PVH were determined by Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and 5`Rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5`RACE) methods. Sequence analysis revealed that the PVH had a genomic organization typical of members of the genus <i>Carlavirus</i>, with a positive-sense single-stranded genome of 8410nt. It shared CP and replicase amino acid sequence identities of 17.9-56.9% with those of reported carlaviruses. Phylogenetic analyses based on the amino acid sequences of replicase and CP revealed that PVH formed a distinct branch, which is only distantly related to the carlaviruses. Western blot assays showed that PVH was not serological related to other potato viruses (PVS, PVM and PoLV). PVH systemically infected <i>Nicotiana glutinosa</i>, but not <i>Nicotiana tabacum</i>, <i>Nicotiana benthamiana</i> or <i>Chenopodium quinoa</i> as other potato carlaviruses did. All these results support the classification of PVH as a novel species in the genus <i>Carlavirus</i>.<p><p>Keywords: Virus-Viroid, Root-Tuber Crops, Potato

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