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Molecular characterization of HetRV8-ir1, a partitivirus of the invasive conifer pathogenic fungus Heterobasidion irregulare


The Heterobasidion annosum (Fr.) Bref. complex includes some of the most destructive conifer pathogenic fungi in the Boreal forest region. H. irregulare, formerly known as the North American pine type of H. annosum, was introduced from North America into Italy during the Second World War and occurs as an invasive pathogen in Pinus pinea stands together with the native European species H. annosum sensu stricto. We describe the complete nucleotide sequence of a new putative partitivirus from an Italian strain of H. irregulare. The bisegmented genome of HetRV8-ir1 encodes an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of 704 aa and a capsid protein of 638 aa. The polymerase and capsid aa sequences are relatively similar (59-78 %) to those of Fusarium poae virus 1, Pleurotus ostreatus virus 1, and grapevine-associated partitivirus 1. HetRV8-ir1 is the first virus described from H. irregulare, and it is distantly related to previously known partitiviruses of Heterobasidion species.

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We gratefully acknowledge N. Luchi, M. Feducci, M. Scirè and L. D’Amico for help in collecting isolates of H. irregulare. We also thank M.-L. Santanen, S. Sarsila and M. N. Lorenzo Gotor for skillful technical assistance. This work was supported by the Academy of Finland (decision numbers 12256, 251193, and 258520) and the Finnish Forest Research Institute.

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Correspondence to Eeva J. Vainio.

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Nucleotide sequence data reported are available in the GenBank database under the accession numbers JX625227 and JX625228.

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Vainio, E.J., Capretti, P., Motta, E. et al. Molecular characterization of HetRV8-ir1, a partitivirus of the invasive conifer pathogenic fungus Heterobasidion irregulare . Arch Virol 158, 1613–1615 (2013).

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