, Volume 146, Issue 3, pp 619-628

Contributions of genetic drift and negative selection on the evolution of three strains of wheat streak mosaic tritimovirus

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 Genome sequences of three Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) strains were compared. The Type and Sidney 81 strains of WSMV from the American Great Plains were closely related, with sequence identities of 97.6% (nucleotide) and 98.7% (amino acid). In contrast, the El Batán 3 strain from central Mexico was divergent, and shared only 79.2–79.3% (nucleotide) and 90.3–90.5% (amino acid) sequence identity with Type and Sidney 81. All three WSMV strains were serologically related, however the El Batán 3 capsid protein (CP) had 15 fewer amino acid residues. Phylogenetic analysis of the CP cistron indicated that Type, Sidney 81, and nine other American isolates of WSMV were closely related and distinct from the El Batán 3 sequence. Nucleotide substitutions among the WSMV strains were not randomly distributed across the genome with more variation within P1, HC-Pro, and CP, and less within P3. One 400-nucleotide region of the genome, corresponding to the 3′-end of P3, was strikingly deficient in silent substitutions. Nonetheless, the ratio of synonymous to non-synonymous substitutions throughout the genome was essentially the same for all three WSMV strains. Collectively, our data indicate that both genetic drift and negative selection have contributed to the evolution of WSMV strains.

Received April 10, 2000 Accepted August 2, 2000