Evolutionary history of Cucumber mosaic virus deduced by phylogenetic analyses

Marilyn J. Roossinck

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226 Scopus citations


Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is an RNA plant virus with a tripartite genome and an extremely broad host range. Previous evolutionary analyses with the coat protein (CP) and 5′ nontranslated region (NTR) of RNA 3 suggested subdivision of the virus into three groups, subgroups IA, IB, and II. In this study 15 strains of CMV whose nucleotide sequences have been determined were used for a complete phylogenetic analysis of the virus. The trees estimated for open reading frames (ORFs) located on the different RNAs were not congruent and did not completely support the subgrouping indicated by the CP ORF, indicating that different RNAs had independent evolutionary histories. This is consistent with a reassortment mechanism playing an important role in the evolution of the virus. The evolutionary trees of the la and 3a ORFs were more compact and displayed more branching than did those of the 2a and CP ORFs. This may reflect more rigid host-interactive constraints exerted on the la and 3a ORFs. In addition, analysis of the 3′ NTR that is conserved among all RNAs indicated that evolutionary constraints on this region are specific to the RNA component rather than the virus isolate. This indicates that functions other than replication are encoded in the 3′ NTR. Reassortment may have led to the genetic diversity found among CMV strains and contributed to its enormous evolutionary success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3382-3387
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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