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Partial Sequence and Survey Analysis Identify a Multipartite, Negative-Sense RNA Virus Associated with Fig Mosaic

January 2009 , Volume 93 , Number  1
Pages  4 - 10

Jeewan Jyot Walia, Nida M. Salem, and Bryce W. Falk, Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis

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Accepted for publication 30 September 2008.

RNA and nucleotide sequence-based analyses were used to identify viruses in fig mosaic (FM)-affected fig (Ficus carica) trees. Nucleotide sequence analyses of 267 cloned cDNAs identified sequences corresponding to four viruses representing four distinct taxa from fig trees in California. Virus sequences corresponding to members of the family Closteroviridae were most common (55 sequences). We also found two sequences for an Umbravirus, one sequence corresponding to a Luteovirus-associated RNA, and two sequences that showed homology to European mountain ash ringspot-associated virus (EMARAV). Reverse transcription--polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and northern hybridization analyses were used to confirm the presence of specific virus RNAs in fig trees. A survey of 184 fig trees from a germplasm collection, a commercial orchard, backyards, and feral fig trees showed that one virus was most common (detected in 96% of tested samples), while none of the other virus sequences were detected in more than 36% of the fig trees. Based on its association with FM-affected trees, nucleotide sequence-based phylogenetic association, and previous reported properties, we suggest the name of this virus as Fig mosaic-associated virus (FMaV).

© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society