, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 85-96
Date: 21 Aug 2006

Molecular and biological comparison of two Tomato yellow ring virus (TYRV) isolates: challenging the Tospovirus species concept

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Two strains of Tomato yellow ring virus (TYRV, genus Tospovirus), one from tomato (referred to as TYRV-t) and the other from soybean and potato (denoted TYRV-s), collected from different geographical regions in Iran, were compared. Their genomic S RNA segments differed in size by 55 nucleotides. Comparison of the S RNA intergenic regions revealed the absence of a stretch of 115 nucleotides within the S RNA segment of TYRV-s and, conversely, of 56 nts in that of TYRV-t, apparently a stable genetic difference as it was also found in another isolate of TYRV-s collected from potato. Sequence comparison of the N protein ORFs revealed an identity of 92% between the N proteins of both strains, and the observed strong cross-reaction of TYRV-s in DAS-ELISA with a polyclonal antiserum directed against the TYRV-t N protein confirmed this high identity. Host range analysis revealed several differences, e.g. TYRV-s, but not TYRV-t, being able to systemically infect Nicotiana species, and TYRV-s being localised in tomato. The observed molecular and biological differences of both viruses call into question the currently used criteria for Tospovirus species demarcation.