A double-stranded cDNA was synthesized from in vitro polyadenylated apple mosaic virus (ApMV) RNA 3 using oligo(dT) and sequence-specific primers, and was cloned into plasmid vectors. A set of overlapping cDNA clones was used to determine the nucleotide sequence of RNA 4. ApMV RNA 4 was found to contain an open reading frame (ORF) of 666 nucleotides, which was flanked by 5' and 3' non-translated sequences of 55 and 264 nucleotides, respectively. The ORF encoding the coat protein was identified by comparing the predicted amino acid sequence with that obtained from direct protein microsequencing of the native viral coat protein. The ORF encodes a protein with an M(r) of 25 056. The nucleotide sequence of the ApMV coat protein gene showed no similarity to those of alfalfa mosaic virus, tobacco streak virus (TSV), brome mosaic virus or cucumber mosaic virus. The predicted amino acid sequence of the amino-terminal region of the ApMV coat protein is basic, rich in cysteine residues and may contain a zinc finger motif similar to that found in TSV.
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