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A Novel Member of the Genus Nepovirus Isolated from Cucumis melo in Japan

March 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  3
Pages  316 - 322

Yasuhiro Tomitaka, Tomio Usugi, Fumitoshi Yasuda, Hiroshi Okayama, and Shinya Tsuda

First, second, and fifth authors: National Agricultural Research Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8666, Japan; and third and fourth authors: Tottori Prefectural Agriculture and Forest Research Institute, Hokuei, Tottori 689-2221, Japan.

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Accepted for publication 7 October 2010.

An unusual virus was isolated from a Japanese Cucumis melo cv. Prince melon plant showing mild mottling of the leaves. The virus had a broad experimental host range including at least 19 plant species in five families, with most infected plants showing no symptoms on inoculated and uninoculated systemically infected leaves. The virus particles were spherical, approximately 28 nm in diameter, and the coat protein (CP) had an apparent molecular mass of about 55 kDa. The virus possessed a bi-partite genome with two RNA species, of approximately 8,000 and 4,000 nucleotides. Both genome components for the new virus were sequenced. Amino acid sequence identities in CP between the new virus and previously characterized nepoviruses were found to be low (less than 27%); however, in phylogenetic reconstructions the closest relationship was revealed between the new virus and subgroup A nepoviruses. These results suggest that the new virus represents a novel member of the genus Nepovirus. A new name, Melon mild mottle virus, has been proposed for this new virus.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society