Complete genome sequence of switchgrass mosaic virus, a member of a proposed new species in the genus Marafivirus

Bright O. Agindotan, Michael E. Gray, Rosemarie W. Hammond, Carl A. Bradley

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10 Scopus citations


The complete genome sequence of a virus recently detected in switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) was determined and found to be closely related to that of maize rayado fino virus (MRFV), genus Marafivirus, family Tymoviridae. The genomic RNA is 6408 nucleotides long. It contains three predicted open reading frames (ORFs 1-3), encoding proteins of 227 kDa, 43.9 kDa, and 31.5 kDa, compared to two ORFs (1 and 2) for MRFV. The complete genome shares 76 % sequence identity with MRFV. The nucleotide sequence of ORF2 of this virus and the amino acid sequence of its encoded protein are 49 % and 77 % identical, respectively, to those of MRFV. The virus-encoded polyprotein and capsid protein aa sequences are 83 % and 74-80 % identical, respectively, to those of MRFV. Although closely related to MRFV, the amino acid sequence of its capsid protein (CP) forms a clade that is separate from that of MRFV. Based on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) sequence-related criteria for delineation of species within the genus Marafivirus, the virus qualifies as a member of a new species, and the name Switchgrass mosaic virus (SwMV) is proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1825-1830
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to British Petroleum (BP) and the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for their support and funding of this research.

Funding Information:
Plant biomass is a huge source of polysaccharides such as cellulose, which can be hydrolyzed to monosaccharides prior to alcoholic fermentation []. One of the advantages of production of ethanol from cellulosic biomass is that it relieves starchy food grains as bioenergy feedstocks. The Herbaceous Energy Crops Research Program (HECP) funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE) evaluated 35 herbaceous plants (15 perennial grasses) and concluded that switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has the greatest potential as a bioenergy source []. In Europe, switchgrass was one of the four rhizomatous perennial grasses considered for further research out of the 20 perennial crops tested [].

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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