In this study, we detected a Japanese isolate of hibiscus latent Fort Pierce virus (HLFPV-J), a member of the genus Tobamovirus, in a hibiscus plant in Japan and determined the complete sequence and organization of its genome. HLFPV-J has four open reading frames (ORFs), each of which shares more than 98 % nucleotide sequence identity with those of other HLFPV isolates. Moreover, HLFPV-J contains a unique internal poly(A) region of variable length, ranging from 44 to 78 nucleotides, in its 3′-untranslated region (UTR), as is the case with hibiscus latent Singapore virus (HLSV), another hibiscus-infecting tobamovirus. The length of the HLFPV-J genome was 6431 nucleotides, including the shortest internal poly(A) region. The sequence identities of ORFs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of HLFPV-J to other tobamoviruses were 46.6–68.7, 49.9–70.8, 31.0–70.8 and 39.4–70.1 %, respectively, at the nucleotide level and 39.8–75.0, 43.6–77.8, 19.2–70.4 and 31.2–74.2 %, respectively, at the amino acid level. The 5′- and 3′-UTRs of HLFPV-J showed 24.3–58.6 and 13.0–79.8 % identity, respectively, to other tobamoviruses. In particular, when compared to other tobamoviruses, each ORF and UTR of HLFPV-J showed the highest sequence identity to those of HLSV. Phylogenetic analysis showed that HLFPV-J, other HLFPV isolates and HLSV constitute a malvaceous-plant-infecting tobamovirus cluster. These results indicate that the genomic structure of HLFPV-J has unique features similar to those of HLSV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the complete genome sequence of HLFPV.
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