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Molecular Plant Pathology

Genomic Diversity Among Populations of Two Citrus Viroids from Different Graft-Transmissible Dwarfing Complexes in Israel. A. Ben- Shaul, The S. Tolkowsky Laboratory, Department of Virology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel; Y. Guang, N. Mogilner, R. Hadas, M. Mawassi, R. Gafny, and M. Bar-Joseph. The S. Tolkowsky Laboratory, Department of Virology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel. Phytopathology 85:359-364. Accepted for publication 25 October 1994. Copyright 1995 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-85-359.

The nucleotide sequences of citrus bent leaf viroid (CBLVd) (formerly designated CV-Ib) and citrus exocortis viroid (CEVd), both found among the citrus viroid (CVd) populations from five graft-transmissible dwarfing complexes (GTDCs) originating from different source plants and geographical locations in Israel, were determined. The sequence homology varied only slightly among the CBLVd sequence variants, i.e., 07 nucleotides (nts); originating from a single GTDC and 28 nts between CBLVds that were obtained from different GTDCs. The lowest level of homology between CBLVd variants obtained from citrus was 97.5%. Considerably larger variation (815 nucleotide changes) was observed between CBLVd variants derived from citrus and the type strain that was passed through avocado seedlings. The type strain differed from all variants in six positions, located at 38, 62, 138, 179, 264, and 268 nts. The CEVd sequence variants showed considerable heterogeneity. Five variants derived from four GTDCs differed only in 29 nts. Five other variants derived from two GTDCs showed 2750 nucleotide changes compared with the first group of CEVd variants. The largest variation within a single GTDC of up to 41 nucleotide changes was observed between CEVd variants derived from GTDC-G. Using CEVd #225 as a reference strain, most of the nucleotide changes occurred in the V, LT, and RT domains. Additional changes in the P domain were found only among CEVd isolates derived from GTDC-M and GTDC-G. The sequence homologies to CEVd #225 ranged from 89.2 (CEVd-G2) to 99.0% (CEVd-NG1).

Additional keywords: chimeric viroids, viroid pathogenicity.