Potexviruses have relatively short virions (<700 nm) and their genomes have only five ORFs. Potexviruses infect herbaceous hosts and have no known vectors.
Virions are flexuous filaments, 470–580 nm in length and 13 nm in diameter, with helical symmetry and a pitch of 3.3–3.7 nm (Figure 1.Potexvirus). A central axial canal, about 3 nm in diameter can sometimes be discerned. The number of protein subunits per turn of the primary helix is slightly less than 9.0. The RNA backbone is at a radial position of 3.3 nm (Atabekov et al., 2007).
Figure 1.Potexvirus. Negative-contrast electron micrograph of particles of an isolate of potato virus X. The bar represents 100 nm (Courtesy of D.-E. Lesemann).
Physicochemical and physical properties
The potexvirus virion Mr is about. 3.5×106; S20,w is 115–130S; buoyant density in CsCl is 1.31 g cm−3.
Virions of potexviruses contain a single linear molecule of positive-sense RNA of 5.9–7.0 kb, comprising approximately 6% by weight of the virion. The RNA is capped at the 5′ -terminus with m7G and has a polyadenylated tract at the 3′-terminus (Huisman et al., 1988) (Figure 2.Potexvirus).
The only structural protein is the 21–27 kDa capsid protein (CP).
The capsid protein of some strains of the species Potato virus X are reported to be glycosylated (Baratova et al., 2004).
Genome organization and replication
The genomic RNA of potexviruses, as exemplified by potato virus X (PVX), typically has five ORFs (Figure 2.Potexvirus). ORF1, at the 5′-terminus, encodes the replication-associated protein (Rep) and ORF5, located at the 3′-terminus, is the CP gene. Between ORF1 and ORF5 is the triple gene block (TGB) of three overlapping ORFs, the products of which (25, 12 and 8 kDa) are involved in cell-to-cell movement. The 25 kDa protein contains an NTPase-helicase domain, but is not involved in RNA replication. It has been shown to have RNA silencing suppressor activity which is necessary for virus movement. The 12 and 8 kDa proteins contain large blocks of uncharged amino acids and are associated with membrane vesicles derived from the endoplasmic reticulum. The third TGB protein of Alternanthera mosaic virus (AltMV) (but not that of PVX) is targeted to the chloroplast and is required for movement from the epidermis to the mesophyll layer. The CP is also involved in cell-to-cell movement. ORFs 2 to 5 are expressed via the production (and subsequent translation) of subgenomic RNAs (sgRNAs). Two or three 3′-co-terminal sgRNAs can be isolated from plants infected with potexviruses (ca. 2.1, 1.2 and 1.0 kb); the double-stranded counterparts of these sgRNAs have also been detected. The medium-sized sgRNA (1.2 kb) is probably functionally bicistronic, its translation yielding the 12 and 8 kDa proteins.
Virions of PVX contain only genomic RNA, but some other potexviruses also encapsidate the sgRNA for the CP. Genomic RNA is translated as a functionally monocistronic message; only the 5′-proximal Rep gene is translated directly by ribosomes, producing the Rep protein (150–181 kDa). The 5′-UTR leader sequence of PVX RNA consists of 83 nt (excluding the cap-structure) and enhances translation.
Figure 2.Potexvirus. Potato virus X genome organization and expression. Mtr, methyltransferase; Hel, helicase; RdRP, RNA-directed RNA polymerase; TGB, triple gene block; CP, capsid protein;
Some potexviruses are moderately pathogenic, causing mosaic or ringspot symptoms in a wide range of mono- and dicotyledonous plant species, but others cause little damage to infected plants. The host range of individual members is usually limited, although AltMV and Plantago asiatica mosaic virus (PlAMV) infect a number of taxonomically diverse crops.
Potexviruses are transmitted in nature by mechanical contact. Potato aucuba mosaic virus (PAMV) can be transmitted by aphids when assisted by a potyvirus that provides a helper protein.
As a group, potexviruses occur world-wide. The distribution of some species is very wide but others are apparently more geographically restricted.
The cytoplasm of infected cells contains fibrous, banded or irregular aggregates of virus particles, and often membrane accumulation. There is no cytopathology specific to potexviruses, although some viruses induce unique structures such as the beaded sheets found in cells infected by PVX.
Virions are highly immunogenic; members of some species are antigenically related, but others are serologically distinct.
Derivation of names
Potex: from Potato virus X, the type species of the genus.
Species demarcation criteria
Species are demarcated by:
- Host range: the natural host range is usually particular to different species.
- Members of distinct species fail to cross-protect in infected plants.
- Serology: members of different species (and strains of some members) are readily distinguishable in differential reactions with monoclonal antibodies.
- Sequence: isolates of different species have less than 72% nt identity (or 80% aa identity) between their CP or Rep genes.
|Species||Virus name||Isolate||Accession number||RefSeq number||Available sequence||Virus Abbrev.|
|Actinidia virus X||Actinidia virus X||RV-3124||KR872420||NC_028649||Complete genome||AVX|
|Allium virus X||allium virus X||Netherlands||FJ670570||NC_012211||Complete genome||AVX|
|Alstroemeria virus X||alstroemeria virus X||Japan||AB206396||NC_007408||Complete genome||AlsVX|
|Alternanthera mosaic virus||alternanthera mosaic virus||Pennsylavania||AY863024||NC_007731||Complete genome||AltMV|
|Asparagus virus 3||asparagus virus 3||J||AB304848||NC_010416||Complete genome||AV3|
|Asparagus virus 3||scallion virus X||AJ316085||Complete genome||SVX|
|Bamboo mosaic virus||bamboo mosaic virus||O||D26017||NC_001642||Complete genome||BaMV|
|Cactus virus X||cactus virus X||Taiwan||AF308158||NC_002815||Complete genome||CVX|
|Cassava common mosaic virus||cassava common mosaic virus||Brazilian||U23414||NC_001658||Complete genome||CsCMV|
|Cassava virus X||cassava virus X||Ven164||KY288487||NC_034375||Complete genome||CsVX|
|Clover yellow mosaic virus||clover yellow mosaic virus||Sit||D29630||NC_001753||Complete genome||ClYMV|
|Cymbidium mosaic virus||cymbidium mosaic virus||Singapore||U62963||NC_001812||Complete genome||CymMV|
|Foxtail mosaic virus||foxtail mosaic virus||Bancroft||M62730||NC_001483||Complete genome||FoMV|
|Hosta virus X||hosta virus X||Kr||AJ620114||NC_011544||Complete genome||HVX|
|Hydrangea ringspot virus||hydrangea ringspot virus||PD 109||AY707100||NC_006943||Complete genome||HdRSV|
|Lagenaria mild mosaic virus||lagenaria mild mosaic virus||AB546335||NC_043079||Partial genome||LMMV|
|Lettuce virus X||lettuce virus X||Karaj||AM745758||NC_010832||Complete genome||LeVX|
|Lily virus X||lily virus X||Netherlands||AJ633822||NC_007192||Complete genome||LVX|
|Malva mosaic virus||malva mosaic virus||Cote||DQ660333||NC_008251||Complete genome||MalMV|
|Mint virus X||mint virus X||NCGR MEN 454||AY789138||NC_006948||Complete genome||MVX|
|Narcissus mosaic virus||narcissus mosaic virus||Zuidema||D13747||NC_001441||Complete genome||NMV|
|Nerine virus X||nerine virus X||J||AB219105||NC_007679||Complete genome||NVX|
|Opuntia virus X||opuntia virus X||CC10||AY366209||NC_006060||Complete genome||OpVX|
|Papaya mosaic virus||papaya mosaic virus||Sit||D13957||NC_001748||Complete genome||PapMV|
|Pepino mosaic virus||pepino mosaic virus||Sp-13||AF484251||NC_004067||Complete genome||PepMV|
|Phaius virus X||phaius virus X||Japan||AB353071||NC_010295||Complete genome||PhVX|
|Pitaya virus X||Pitaya virus X||P37||JF930327||NC_024458||Complete genome||PiVX|
|Plantago asiatica mosaic virus||plantago asiatica mosaic virus||Solovyev||Z21647||NC_003849||Complete genome||PlAMV|
|Plantain virus X||plantain virus X||No entry in Genbank||PlVX|
|Potato aucuba mosaic virus||potato aucuba mosaic virus||Xu||S73580||NC_003632||Complete genome||PAMV|
|Potato virus X||potato virus X||X3||D00344||NC_011620||Complete genome||PVX|
|Schlumbergera virus X||schlumbergera virus X||K11||AY366207||NC_011659||Complete genome||SchVX|
|Strawberry mild yellow edge virus||strawberry mild yellow edge virus||MY-18||D12517||NC_003794||Complete genome||SMYEV|
|Tamus red mosaic virus||tamus red mosaic virus||IT||JN389521||NC_016003||Complete genome||TRMV|
|Tulip virus X||tulip virus X||J||AB066288||NC_004322||Complete genome||TVX|
|Vanilla virus X||Vanilla virus X||CRV2148POT||MF150240||NC_035205||Complete genome||VaVX|
|White clover mosaic virus||white clover mosaic virus||Forster||X06728||NC_003820||Complete genome||WClMV|
|Yam virus X||yam virus X||T551||KJ711908||NC_025252||Complete genome||YVX|
|Zygocactus virus X||zygocactus virus X||B1||AY366208||NC_006059||Complete genome||ZyVX|
Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.
Related, unclassified viruses
Babaco mosaic virus
Caladium virus X
Cnidium virus X
Euonymus yellow vein virus
Paris polyphylla virus X
potexvirus 1 LSD-2014
Senna mosaic virus
turtle grass virus X
yam potexvirus 1
yam potexvirus 2