Identification and in silico characterisation of defective molecules associated with isolates of banana bunchy top virus
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Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV) is a multi-component single-stranded DNA virus. From 267 potentially infected Musa plants, 24 apparently ‘defective’ BBTV components have been identified. Interestingly, 23/24 of these defective molecules were apparently derived from DNA-R. All of the identified defective molecules had retained at least part of the CR-SL and CR-M but had insertions and/or deletions that in most cases resulted in open reading frame disruptions. Our detection of three monophyletic but diverse (and therefore likely circulating) defective DNA-R lineages suggests that, in many cases, defective DNA-R molecules might remain associated with BBTV genomes for prolonged periods.
KeywordsBanana bunchy top virus Nanovirus Defective molecules
D.S was supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the Marsden Fund of New Zealand (UOC0903). AV and DPM are supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa. This work was supported by the Marsden Fund Council from government funding, administered by the Royal Society of New Zealand (grant UOC0903) awarded to AV.
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