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Biological and Molecular Characterization of Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus and a Potyvirus Isolate from Eastern Sudan

May 2001 , Volume 85 , Number  5
Pages  547 - 552

Hervé Lecoq , INRA, Station de Pathologie Végétale, B.P. 94, 84143 Montfavet Cedex, France ; Gasim Dafalla , Plant Pathology Center, University of the Gezira, Wad Medani, Sudan ; Cécile Desbiez , Catherine Wipf-Scheibel , and Brigitte Delécolle , INRA, Station de Pathologie Végétale, France ; and Tanya Lanina , Zakir Ullah , and Rebecca Grumet , Department of Horticulture, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48823

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Accepted for publication 6 February 2001.

A potyvirus (Su-94-54) was isolated from a naturally infected snake cucumber (Cucumis melo var. flexuosus) plant with severe mosaic and leaf deformation symptoms collected in Eastern Sudan. This isolate has a host range limited to cucurbits and is serologically distantly related to Moroccan watermelon mosaic virus (MWMV) and to Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV). Coat protein sequence analysis of Su-94-54 and MWMV and comparison with other potyviruses indicate that Su-94-54 is more closely related to MWMV than to any other potyvirus. Based on the amino acid sequence identity in the core part of the coat protein with MWMV (86%), this isolate could be regarded as a distinct species. However, because of biological, cytological, and serological affinities with MWMV, we propose that this isolate be considered as a strain of MWMV, possibly an evolutionary intermediate between MWMV and PRSV, until more is known on the structure of the PRSV subgroup within the genus Potyvirus.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society