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Partial Nucleotide Sequence and Genome Organization of a Canadian Isolate of Little cherry virus and Development of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay-Based Diagnostic Test

January 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  1
Pages  87 - 98

J. Theilmann , J. Mozafari , R. Reade , Z. Wu , W. Xie , G. Jesperson , M. Bernardy , K. C. Eastwell , and D. Rochon

First, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh, and ninth authors: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre, Summerland, B.C. V0H 1Z0; sixth author: British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, 200-1690 Powick Road, Kelowna, B.C. V1X 7G5; and eighth author: Washington State University—IAREC, 24106 N. Bunn Road, Prosser 99350

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Accepted for publication 5 October 2001.

Approximately 12.4 kb of the genome of a mealybug-transmissible, North American isolate of Little cherry virus (LChV-3, previously designated LChV-LC5) has been cloned and sequenced. The sequenced portion of the genome contains 10 open reading frames (ORFs) and, based on sequence comparisons, encodes a putative RNA helicase (HEL), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (POL), two coat proteins (CPs), a homologue of HSP70, a 53K protein (p53) that is similar to an equivalent-size protein in other closteroviruses, and a 22K (p22) protein of unknown function. The genome also potentially encodes two small proteins (p5 and p6), one of which is similar to the small hydrophobic proteins of other closteroviruses. Phylogenetic analyses utilizing sequences of the HEL, POL, and HSP70 homologue suggest that LChV-3 is most similar to other mealybug-transmitted closteroviruses. Further comparisons between LChV-3 and a 4.7-kb region of the recently described Little cherry virus-2 (LChV-2) reveals 77% nucleotide sequence identity. Based on this low sequence identity, we propose that LChV-3 be considered a separate species, designated LChV-3. Unexpectedly, the LChV-3 CP duplicate ORF was found to lie upstream of the HSP70 ORF; therefore, the genome organization of LChV-3 is distinct from that of other closteroviruses. Polyclonal antiserum raised to bacterially expressed LChV-3 CP was useful for detection of LChV-diseased trees in the cherry-growing districts of British Columbia, Canada.

© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2002