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Cotton leaf curl disease is associated with multiple monopartite begomoviruses supported by single DNA β

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 For bipartite begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae) trans-replication of the DNA B component by the DNA A-encoded replication-associated protein (Rep) is achieved by virtue of a shared sequence, the “common region”, which contains repeated motifs (iterons) which are sequence-specific Rep binding sites and form part of the origin of replication. Recently cotton leaf curl disease (CLCuD), a major constraint to cotton production on the Indian subcontinent, has been shown to be caused by a monopartite begomovirus (Cotton leaf curl Multan virus [CLCuMV]) and a novel single-stranded DNA satellite molecule termed CLCuD DNA β. The satellite molecule is trans-replicated by CLCuMV but does not possess the iteron sequences of this virus. We have investigated the ability of CLCuD DNA β to interact with three further clones of monopartite begomoviruses, isolated from cotton, that have distinct Rep binding specificities. All three cloned viruses were capable of trans-replicating the satellite molecule and inducing CLCuD symptoms in cotton, indicating that the interaction between begomovirus and DNA β is relaxed in comparison to the interaction between DNA A and DNA B components. Field surveys across all the cotton growing regions of Pakistan indicate that dual and multiple infections are the norm for CLCuD with no evidence of synergism. Despite the diversity of begomoviruses associated with CLCuD, only a single class of DNA β has been detected, suggesting that this satellite has the capacity to be recruited by unrelated begomoviruses.

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Received January 13, 2003; accepted May 8, 2003

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Mansoor, S., Briddon, R., Bull, S. et al. Cotton leaf curl disease is associated with multiple monopartite begomoviruses supported by single DNA β. Arch Virol 148, 1969–1986 (2003).

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