Complete genomic sequence analysis of a highly virulent isolate revealed a novel strain ofSugarcane mosaic virus

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Sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) is the most prevalent virus causing maize dwarf mosaic disease in northern China. A SCMV isolate, BD8, was obtained from the maize showing dwarf and mosaic symptoms in Baoding, China. The complete genomic sequence of BD8 is 9,576 nucleotides (nt) excluding the poly(A) tail. It contains one single open reading frame of 9,192 nt and encodes a large polyprotein of 3,063 amino acids (aa), flanked by a 5′-untranslated region (UTR) of 148 nt and a 3′-UTR of 236 nt. The entire genomic sequence of BD8 shares identities of 79.1-80.8% with those of other 13 SCMV isolates available in the GenBank at nt level, while their CP genes share identities of 76.9-82.6 and 82.8-86.9% at nt and aa levels, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of the complete genomic sequences reveals that SCMV can be clustered to four groups: group I includes isolates from maize, group II consists of isolates from sugarcane or maize, groups III and IV contain single isolate of AU-A (AJ278405) and BD8, respectively. Thus, BD8 represents a new strain of SCMV. Furthermore analysis of the CP gene sequences of more isolates shows that BD8 is clustered to a group with the isolates from Thailand and Vietnam, which implies that isolates of this strain have been distributed in South Asia. In the greenhouse, BD8 can cause severe symptoms in all the 12 maize varieties tested with high incidence, indicating that BD8 is highly virulent.

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