Sequence diversity on four ORFs of citrus tristeza virus correlates with pathogenicity

Lisset Herrera-Isidrón, Juan Carlos Ochoa-Sánchez, Rafael Rivera-Bustamante, Juan Pablo Martínez-Soriano

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The molecular characterization of isolates of citrus tristeza virus (CTV) from eight locations in Mexico was undertaken by analyzing five regions located at the opposite ends of the virus genome. Two regions have been previously used to study CTV variability (coat protein and p23), while the other three correspond to other genomic segments (p349-B, p349-C and p13). Our comparative nucleotide analyses included CTV sequences from different geographical origins already deposited in the GenBank databases. The largest nucleotide differences were located in two fragments located at the 5' end of the genome (p349-B and p349-C). Phylogenetic analyses on those five regions showed that the degree of nucleotide divergence among strains tended to correlate with their pathogenicity. Two main groups were defined: mild, with almost no noticeable effects on the indicator plants and severe, with drastic symptoms. Mild isolates clustered together in every analyzed ORF sharing a genetic distance below 0.022, in contrast with the severe isolates, which showed a more disperse distribution and a genetic distance of 0.276. Analyses of the p349-B and p349-C regions evidenced two lineages within the severe group: severe common subgroup (most of severe isolates) and severe divergent subgroup (T36-like isolates). This study represents the first attempt to analyze the genetic variability of CTV in Mexico by constructing phylogenetic trees based on new genomic regions that use group-specific nucleotide and amino acid sequences. These results may be useful to implement specific assays for strain discrimination. Moreover, it would be an excellent reference for the CTV situation in México to face the recent arrival of brown citrus aphid.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
JournalVirology Journal
StatePublished - 2009


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