Department of Plant Sciences, The University of Arizona, Tucson 85721
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Accepted for publication 1 June 2004.
The bipartite DNA genome of Cotton leaf crumple virus (CLCrV), a whitefly-transmitted begomovirus from the Sonoran Desert, was cloned and completely sequenced. The cloned CLCrV genome was infectious when biolistically delivered to cotton or bean seedlings and progeny virus was whitefly-transmissible. Koch's postulates were completed by the reproduction of characteristic leaf crumple symptoms in cotton seedlings infected with cloned CLCrV DNA, thereby verifying the etiology of leaf crumple disease, which has been known in the southwestern United States since the 1950s. Sequence comparisons confirmed that CLCrV has a genome organization typical of yet sufficiently divergent from all other bipartite begomoviruses to justify recognition as a distinct species. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that CLCrV has a complex evolutionary history probably involving both recombination and reassortment. The relatively low nucleotide sequence identity (77%) of the common region shared by the CLCrV DNA-A and DNA-B components and the distinct phylogenetic relationships of each component are consistent with component reassortment. Sequence analyses indicated that the CLCrV DNA-A component was likely derived by recombination among ancestors of two divergent clades (e.g., the Squash leaf curl virus [SLCV] clade and the Abutilon mosaic virus clade) of Western Hemisphere begomoviruses. The CLCrV DNA-B component also may have originated by recombination among an ancestor of the SLCV clade and another distantly related but unknown Western Hemisphere begomovirus.
© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society