Author(s): Saunders K, Bedford ID, Briddon RW, Markham PG, Wong SM,
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Abstract Ageratum conyzoides L., a weed species widely distributed throughout southeast Asia, frequently exhibits striking yellow vein symptoms associated with infection by Ageratum yellow vein virus (AYVV), a member of the Geminiviridae (genus Begomovirus). Most begomoviruses have bipartite genomes (DNAs A and B), but only a DNA A has been identified for AYVV. We demonstrate that yellow vein disease of A. conyzoides results from co-infection by AYVV DNA A (2,741 nt) and a circular DNA that is approximately half its size (1,347 nt) that we designate DNA beta. Apart from the sequence TAATATTAC, common to all geminiviruses and containing the initiation site of rolling circle replication, DNA beta shows negligible sequence homology either to AYVV DNA A or to DNA B associated with bipartite begomoviruses. DNA beta depends on DNA A for replication and is encapsidated by DNA A-encoded coat protein and so has characteristics of a DNA satellite. However, systemic infection of A. conyzoides by DNA A alone is sporadic and asymptomatic, and DNA A accumulation is reduced to 5\% or less of its accumulation in the presence of DNA beta. Therefore, DNA A and DNA beta together form a previously unrecognized disease-inducing complex. Our data also demonstrate that the nanovirus-like DNA 1 component associated with infected A. conyzoides plays no essential role in the disease and represents a satellite-like DNA. Furthermore, the satellite DNA previously found associated with tomato leaf curl virus is probably a defective DNA beta homologue.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology