Department of Plant Pathology, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701. First and second authors contributed equally to this work.
Fig mosaic occurs worldwide and is the most common and important viral disease of fig. In the quest to identify the causal agent of the disease, several new viruses have been identified, including a new DNA virus, the subject of this communication. Phylogenetic analysis placed the virus, provisionally named Fig badnavirus-1 (FBV-1), in the genus Badnavirus, family Caulimoviridae. The experimental host range of FBV-1 was evaluated and the virus was mechanically transmitted to several herbaceous hosts. FBV-1 was detected in the National Clonal Germplasm Repository fig collection and additional samples from Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oregon, and South Carolina, suggesting its wide distribution in the United States. Further tests revealed the presence of FBV-1 in seedlings and meristem tissue culture plants. Forty-four isolates were used in a study evaluating the population structure of the virus in the United States. Evidence that FBV-1 is integrated in the fig genome is presented and discussed.