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Maculavirus, a new genus of plant viruses.

Maculavirus is a new genus of plant viruses typified by Grapevine fleck virus (GFkV). A possible second member is Grapevine redglobe virus (GRGV). Maculaviruses are phloem-limited non-mechanically transmissible viruses with isometric particles c. 30 nm in diameter that have a rounded contour and prominent surface structure. Vectors, if any, are unknown. GFkV preparations contain two centrifugal components, T made up of empty protein shells and B, which contains 35% RNA. The coat protein ( CP) has a molecular mass of 24 kDa. The genome is a single-stranded RNA that has c. 50% cytosine residues. It is 7564 nt in size, excluding the poly(A) tail and contains four putative open reading frames (ORF) that encode a 215.4 kDa polypeptide with the conserved motifs of replication-associated proteins of positive-strand RNA viruses (ORF1), the CP (ORF2), and one (GRGV) or two (GFkV) proline-rich polyproteins of 31.4 kDa (ORF3) and 15.9 kDa (ORF4), respectively, with unknown function. Replication-associated proteins and CP are phylogenetically related to those of members of the genera Tymovirus and Marafivirus. GFkV-infected grapevine cells contain vesiculated mitochondria, the possible site of RNA replication. In the natural host, GFkV particles accumulate in great quantity, sometimes in crystalline arrays in phloem cells.[1]


  1. Maculavirus, a new genus of plant viruses. Martelli, G.P., Sabanadzovic, S., Abou Ghanem-Sabanadzovic, N., Saldarelli, P. Arch. Virol. (2002) [Pubmed]
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