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Grapevine virus J, a novel vitivirus identified in grapevine via high-throughput sequencing

Alfredo Diaz Lara: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California-Davis

<div>To date, nine viruses are formally classified in the genus <em>Vitivirus</em> (family <em>Betaflexiviridae</em>), five of which are reported in grapevine: grapevine viruses A, B, D, E and F. Additionally, three recently discovered viruses, grapevine viruses H, G and I are proposed as new members. During the characterization of a white grape selection from Turkmenistan introduced to Foundation Plant Services (UC-Davis), a novel <em>Vitivirus</em> was identified via high-throughput sequencing. Total nucleic acids from the vine were extracted, used for library preparation, sequenced using the Illumina platform and compared against the GenBank virus database. The BLAST analysis detected several sequences (sizes from 4,743 to 7,375 nt) sharing a distant relationship (average identity: 52%) with species belonging to the genus <em>Vitivirus</em>. Further characterization resulted in the full genome (7,390 nt) of a putative virus, tentatively named grapevine virus J (GVJ, GenBank MG637048), comprised of five open reading frames. According to the genomic arrangement, sequence homology and phylogenetics, GVJ is a new species in the genus <em>Vitivirus</em>, with the closest characterized virus being GVD. Lastly, a developed RT-PCR assay confirmed the presence of GVJ in the source vine and eight additional vines in a partial survey of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Winters, CA. Thus, this work adds a novel species to the list of viruses infecting grapevine and is a basis for future biological studies.</div>