Zostera virus T - a novel virus of the genus Tepovirus identified in the eelgrass, Zostera muelleri.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Acta virologica, 2019, 63, (4), pp. 366-372
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Analysis of a transcriptome dataset obtained from tissue samples of the eelgrass Zostera muelleri, an aquatic flowering plant species of the family Zosteraceae, yielded three genome sequence contigs of a novel RNA virus. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis revealed that the novel RNA virus, named Zostera virus T (ZoVT), belongs to the genus Tepovirus of the family Betaflexiviridae. The three genome contigs of ZoVT showed 88.2‒97.2% nucleotide sequence identity to each other, indicating that they descended from a common ancestor. The ZoVT genome contains three open reading frames (ORFs): ORF1 encodes a 1816 amino acid (aa) replicase (REP) with RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) activity; ORF2, a 398 aa movement protein (MP); and ORF3, a 240 aa coat protein (CP). The phylogenetic analysis using REP sequences of ZoVT and other Betaflexiviridae viruses showed that Prunus virus T is the closest known virus to ZoVT, whereas potato virus T, the type species of the genus Tepovirus, is the second closest virus. Genome sequences of ZoVT, which is the third tepovirus species identified to date, may be useful for investigating the evolution and molecular biology of tepoviruses. Keywords: Zostera virus T; Tepovirus; Betaflexiviridae; eelgrass; Zostera muelleri.
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