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Characterization of a Novel Member of the Family Closteroviridae from Mentha spp.

September 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  9
Pages  1,043 - 1,048

Ioannis E. Tzanetakis , Joseph D. Postman , and Robert R. Martin

First author: Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and Center for Gene Research and Biotechnology, Oregon State University, Corvallis 97331; second author: National Clonal Germplasm Repository, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Corvallis, OR 97333; and third author: USDA-ARS, Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR 97330

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Accepted for publication 19 April 2005.

While characterizing the agents involved in symptomatology of a variegated mint, Mentha × gracilis ‘Variegata’, a nursery plant with atypical symptoms was examined. This plant, unlike ‘Variegata’, did not exhibit yellow vein banding symptoms but instead had distorted and crinkled leaves. Molecular tests for the three viruses found in ‘Variegata’ clones failed to detect any of these viruses in the plant. Double-stranded RNA was extracted and cloned, disclosing the presence of two unknown viruses. One of the viruses was a novel member of the family Closteroviridae. The complete nucleotide sequence of the virus, designated as Mint virus 1, has been obtained. A detection test was developed, and revealed the presence of the virus in several other mint clones and species. Genomic regions from three additional isolates were examined to investigate the genetic diversity of the virus. Genome and phylogenetic analysis placed Mint virus 1 in the genus Closterovirus and transmission studies have identified the mint aphid, Ovatus crataegarius, as a vector for this new member of the genus Closterovirus.

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society