MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF A TOMBUSVIRUS ASSOCIATED WITH A DISEASE OF STATICE [GONIOLIMON TATARICUM L BOISS]
D. Galetzka, M. Russo, L. Rubino, G. Krczal
A tombusvirus was isolated from plants of statice (Goniolimon tataricum) showing malformation, mosaic and necrosis of the leaves and poor flowering. Electron microscopy of infected tissues revealed the presence of vesiculated structures derived from altered peroxisomes. In Northern blots four major RNA species were detected, corresponding to viral genomic, subgenomic and defective interfering (DI) RNAs. Both genomic and DI RNAs were cloned and sequenced, and shown to have structure and organization similar to those of viruses of the genus Tombusvirus. In agar gel diffusion tests, spurs were formed when the statice isolate was compared with the cherry strain but not with the BS3 strain of Tomato bushy stunt virus.