Skip to main content
Log in

Detection and characterization of the first North American mastrevirus in switchgrass

  • Brief Report
  • Published:
Archives of Virology Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Virus infections have the potential to reduce biomass yields in energy crops, including Panicum virgatum (switchgrass). As a first step towards managing virus-induced biomass reduction, deep sequencing was used to identify viruses associated with mosaic symptoms in switchgrass. Two sequences with homology to mastreviruses were identified. Total DNA extracted from switchgrass varieties ‘Dewey Blue’ and ‘Cloud Nine’ was used as template to amplify mastrevirus DNA by the rolling-circle method. Complete mastrevirus genome sequences were obtained from cloned amplicons. The two nucleotide sequences were 88 % identical to each other but only 56–57 % identical to the closest relatives in the genus Mastrevirus. Predicted amino acid sequences of the coat protein, replication-associated protein A, replication-associated protein, and putative movement protein encoded by the two mastrevirus-like sequences were 95 %, 79 %, 79 %, and 87 % identical to each other, respectively, and 46–48 %, 31 %, 31 %, and 42–48 % identical to those of the closest mastrevirus relatives. Based on a genome-wide identity threshold of 75 % set by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses and phylogenetic analyses, the two virus sequences appear to represent a new mastrevirus species. The mastrevirus is tentatively named switchgrass mosaic-associated virus 1 (SgMaV-1) and is the first mastrevirus reported from North America.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. Agindotan BO, Ahonsi MO, Domier LL, Gray ME, Bradley CA (2010) Application of sequence-independent amplification (SIA) for the RNA viruses in bioenergy crops. J Virol Methods 169:119–128

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Agindotan BO, Prasifka JR, Gray ME, Dietrich CH, Bradley CA (2013) Transmission of Switchgrass mosaic virus by Graminella aureovittata. Can J Plant Pathol 35:384–389

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Altschul SF, Gish W, Miller W, Myers EW, Lipman DJ (1990) Basic local alignment search tool. J Mol Biol 215:403–410

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Brown JK, Fauquet CM, Briddon RW, Zerbini M, Moriones E, Navas-Castillo J (2012) Family Geminiviridae. In: King AMQ, Adams MJ, Carstens EB, Lefkowitz EJ (eds) Virus taxonomy: classification and nomenclature of viruses; ninth report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Elsevier Academic Press, Waltham, pp 1029–1033

    Google Scholar 

  5. Edgar RC (2004) MUSCLE: multiple sequence alignment with high accuracy and high throughput. Nucleic Acids Res 32:1792–1797

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Hebsgaard SM, Korning PG, Tolstrup N, Engelbrecht J, Rouze P, Brunak S (1996) Splice site prediction in Arabidopsis thaliana pre-mRNA by combining local and global sequence information. Nucleic Acids Res 24:3439–3452

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Kraberger S, Thomas JE, Geering ADW, Dayaram A, Stainton D, Hadfield J, Walters M, Parmenter KS, van Brunschot S, Collings DA, Martin DP, Varsani A (2012) Australian monocot-infecting mastrevirus diversity rivals that in Africa. Virus Res 169:127–136

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Lewandowski I, Scurlock JMO, Lindvall E, Christou M (2003) The development and current status of perennial rhizomatous grasses as energy crops in the US and Europe. Biomass Bioenerg 25:335–361

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Muhire B, Martin DP, Brown JK, Navas-Castillo J, Moriones E, Zerbini FM, Rivera-Bustamante R, Malathi VG, Briddon RW, Varsani A (2013) A genome-wide pairwise-identity-based proposal for the classification of viruses in the genus Mastrevirus (family Geminiviridae). Arch Virol 158:1411–1424

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Poojari S, Alabi OJ, Fofanov VY, Naidu RA (2013) A Leafhopper-transmissible DNA virus with novel evolutionary lineage in the family Geminiviridae implicated in grapevine redleaf disease by next-generation sequencing. PLoS ONE 8:e64194

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Rosario K, Padilla-Rodriguez M, Kraberger S, Stainton D, Martin DP, Breitbart M, Varsani A (2013) Discovery of a novel mastrevirus and alphasatellite-like circular DNA in dragonflies (Epiprocta) from Puerto Rico. Virus Res 171:231–237

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Tamura K, Peterson D, Peterson N, Stecher G, Nei M, Kumar S (2011) MEGA5: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distance, and maximum parsimony methods. Mol Biol Evol 28:2731–2739

    Article  PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was funded by the Energy Biosciences Institute.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bright O. Agindotan.

Additional information

GenBank accession numbers: SgMaV-1cn: KF806701; SgMaV-1db: KF806702; SgMaV-1cn: KJ957193; SgMaV-2: KJ957192.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Agindotan, B.O., Domier, L.L. & Bradley, C.A. Detection and characterization of the first North American mastrevirus in switchgrass. Arch Virol 160, 1313–1317 (2015).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: