A NEW MEMBER OF THE FAMILY FLEXIVIRIDAE FROM PHLOMIS FRUCTICOSA
P. Saldarelli, D. Boscia, A. De Stradis, C. Vovlas
A virus recovered in 2006 from Phlomis fructicosa L. (family Lamiacee) by mechanical transmission to Nicotiana occidentalis had flexuous particles ca. 850 nm long with an outward aspect recalling that of some members of the family Flexiviridae. Sequencing of a 3035 nt fragment of the viral genome, spanning from part of the RdRp gene to the 3’ terminal poly(A) tract, showed a structural organization comparable with that of species in the genus Trichovirus. The 5’ proximal open reading frame (ORF1) encoding the RdRp protein, was followed by two ORFs showing homologies with movement proteins of the p30 superfamily (ORF2) and the coat protein of flexiviruses (ORF3). These polypeptides had a substantial level of similarity with the corresponding proteins of members of the genus Trichovirus. A putative ORF, showing homology with nucleic acid binding proteins (NB) of some flexiviruses, was identified at the extreme 3’region of the viral genome. Its origin and expression are discussed.