Nucleotide sequences of RNAs 1 and 2 of a Japanese strain of soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (SBWMV), the type species of the genus Furovirus, and sorghum chlorotic spot virus (SCSV) were determined from cloned cDNA. The relationship among the Japanese and US strains of SBWMV, SCSV, oat golden stripe virus (OGSV), and recently proposed Chinese wheat mosaic and European wheat mosaic viruses (CWMV and EWMV) were examined at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. Pairwise comparisons of genome-encoded proteins among the six viruses showed that the US strains of SBWMV and CWMV were the most closely related pair in RNA 1 and the Japanese strains of SBWMV and EWMV were most closely related in RNA 2. SCSV was most distantly related to the other five viruses. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that there may have been an ancient reassortment between RNAs 1 and 2 of the four wheat-infecting viruses and OGSV, while SCSV was shown to have separated from the rest before the other five viruses diverged. The fact that CWMV and EWMV have almost identical biological properties as well as the sequence similarities to the two strains of SBWMV suggests that they be regarded as strains of SBWMV, considering that SBWMV consists of genetically diverged strains. OGSV and SCSV are distinct in biological properties in addition to genetic divergence in the genus Furovirus. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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