Genomic Analysis and Development of Infectious Clone of a Novel Carlavirus Infecting Blueberry

    Authors and Affiliations
    • D. E. V. Villamor1
    • A. Sierra Mejia1
    • R. R. Martin2
    • I. E. Tzanetakis1
    1. 1Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, Division of Agriculture, University of Arkansas System, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    2. 2Oregon State University and U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Corvallis, OR 97330

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    A new blueberry virus was discovered using high-throughput sequencing. Using sequence identity values, phylogenetics, and serological and biological properties, we propose the virus, putatively named blueberry virus S (BluVS), to be a distinct species within the genus Carlavirus (family Betaflexiviridae). The genome was analyzed in depth, and an infectious clone was developed to initiate studies on virus pathogenicity. Agroinfiltration of the binary vector construct produced severe systemic symptoms in Nicotiana occidentalis. Back-inoculation using sap from agroinfiltrated N. occidentalis produced identical symptoms to the recipient plants (N. occidentalis), and virus purification yielded flexuous carlavirus-like particles. However, unlike blueberry scorch virus (BlScV), BluVS caused symptomless infection in Chenopodium quinoa and reacted weakly to BlScV antibodies in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Collectively, the results provide evidence for the distinct speciation of BluVS. The availability of an infectious clone provides tools for future studies on the biology of the virus.

    Literature Cited