Cherry chlorotic rusty spot and Amasya cherry diseases are associated with a complex pattern of mycoviral-like double-stranded RNAs. I : Characterization of a new species in the genus Chrysovirus
Coutts, Robert H.A.
Di Serio, F.
Cherry chlorotic rusty spot (CCRS) and Amasya cherry disease (ACD) display similar symptoms and are associated with a series of dsRNAs. However, a direct comparison has been lacking. Here, a side-by-side analysis confirmed that both diseases were symptomatologically very similar, as were the number (10-12) and size of their associated dsRNAs. Sequence determination of four of these dsRNAs revealed that they were essentially identical for CCRS and ACD. The largest (3399 bp), which potentially encoded a protein of 1087 aa with the eight motifs conserved in RNA-dependent RNA polymerases of dsRNA mycoviruses, had the highest similarity to those coded by dsRNA 1 of viruses belonging to the genus Chrysovirus and was termed CCRS or ACD chrys-dsRNA 1. The three closely migrating dsRNAs had the properties of the other components of a chrysovirus and in CCRS and ACD versions, respectively, were chrys-dsRNA 2 (3125 and 3128 bp), chrys-dsRNA 3 (2833 bp) and chrys-dsRNA 4 (2499 and 2498 bp), potentially encoding the major capsid protein (993 and 994 aa) and two proteins (884 and 677 aa, respectively) of unknown function. The four 5′- and 3′-UTRs shared internal similarities and had conserved GAAAAUUAUGG and AUAUGC termini, respectively. The 5′-UTRs contained the 'Box 1' motif followed by a stretch rich in CAA, CAAA and CAAAA repeats, characteristic of chrysovirus dsRNAs. Because species of the genus Chrysovirus have only been described as infecting fungi, this suggests a fungal aetiology for CCRS and ACD, a proposal supported by the properties of two other CCRS- and ACD-associated dsRNAs (see accompanying paper by Coutts et al., 2004, in this issue).