Distribution and genetic variability of alfalfa dwarf virus, a cytorhabdovirus associated with alfalfa dwarf disease in Argentina
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In 2010, a novel cytorhabdovirus named alfalfa dwarf virus (ADV) was detected for the first time in lucerne crops in Argentina showing dwarfism, in mixed infections with several other viruses. ADV appears to be endemic to Argentina and has not been reported elsewhere. In this study, we have investigated the genetic variability of ADV based on the complete nucleoprotein (N) gene of 13 isolates from different lucerne-growing regions in Argentina. Phylogenetic and sequence identity analyses showed that all ADV isolates are closely related and have not diverged more than 1% in the N gene despite geographical separation. These data provide further evidence that ADV is new to science and emerged and spread very recently. A total of 43 single-nucleotide polymorphisms were identified between the ADV isolates studied. Analysis of N gene ORF sequence revealed a mutational bias, with more transitions than transversions. In all cases, the ratio of non-synonymous/synonymous nucleotide changes was < 1, indicating that ADV N gene is under predominantly purifying selection.
KeywordsGenetic diversity Cytorhabdovirus Phylogenetic analysis Single-nucleotide polymorphism Nucleoprotein gene Alfalfa dwarf disease
We thank Verónica Trucco and Fabián Giolitti (Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria) for their assistance in collecting lucerne field samples. This research was jointly supported by the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the University of Queensland (UQ) through the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, and by AgriFutures Australia project PRJ-009751. Samira Samarfard was supported by a living allowance scholarship from AgriFutures Australia and a tuition fee scholarship from UQ Graduate School.
SS, NEB, and RGD designed the study; SS performed the experiments and analyzed the data. SS drafted the manuscript and all authors edited and approved the final version.
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