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POSTERS: New and emerging diseases

High-throughput sequencing identifies a new robigovirus in sweet cherry
Asimina Katsiani - Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Nikolaos Katis- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Varvara Maliogka- Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Shifang Li- Inst of Plant Protection

During the past decade the application of high-throughput sequencing (HTS) has facilitated the identification of several new fruit tree viruses. In 2009, during a screening of sweet cherry orchards in Northern Greece, a divergent viral sequence was identified sharing 75% nt identity with a conserved portion of the betaflexiviruses polymerase gene. Further HTS analysis of total RNA from this sample revealed the presence of several known sweet cherry viruses as well as a potential new species showing highest similarity to members of the genus Robigovirus. The genome of the new virus has a size of approx. 8100 nt and encodes for five open reading frames (ORFs). ORF1 encodes for an RNA polymerase, ORF2, ORF3 and ORF4 encode for movement proteins and ORF5 encodes for the capsid protein. Phylogenetic analyses clustered the new viral agent along with Cherry green ring mottle virus (CGRMV), Cherry rusty mottle associated virus (CRMaV), Cherry necrotic rusty mottle virus (CNRMV) and Cherry twisted leaf associated virus (CTLaV). These pathogens are associated with various disorders in sweet and sour cherries and for that reason are included in phytosanitary indexing and sweet cherry certification schemes. Since the new virus was identified from a sweet cherry cv Ferovia tree, the tentative name Robigo virus F (RVF) is proposed. The distribution of the new virus in Greek sweet cherry orchards and its pathogenicity in the infected trees are under study.