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.
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