Author(s): Ward CW, Shukla DD
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Abstract There are two major requirements for potyvirus taxonomy; group-specific criteria and criteria which discriminate between distinct viruses and strains. This review discusses the relative merits in potyvirus taxonomy of molecular parameters, such as gene sequence data, nucleic acid hybridization, coat protein sequence data, or high-performance liquid chromatography peptide profiles, and phenotypic characteristics, such as particle morphology, host range, symptomatology, cross-protection, cytoplasmic inclusion morphology, and serology. Coat protein and gene sequence data are the most useful criteria, as they can be used to distinguish viruses from strains and to establish evolutionary relationships between groups of distinct potyviruses. This has led to the revised classification of some viruses and strains and to the clarification of previously conflicting and inconsistent biological properties. It has also provided a sound basis for subgrouping potyviruses. An analysis of the data supports the view that the potyvirus group, including the non-aphid-transmitted viruses, should be elevated to family status, that the vector transmission mode, which correlates with major sequence diversity, should define the four genera, and that distinct potyviruses correspond to species and their variants to strains.
This article was published in Intervirology
and referenced in Journal of Medical Implants & Surgery