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Ilarviruses are transmitted mechanically by thrips feeding on pollen grains containing the virus or by carrying pollen grains contaminated by the virus. The RNA2 of members of subgroups 1 and 2 is bicistronic producing a 2b protein, which for asparagus virus 2 is proven to be a suppressor of post-transcriptional gene silencing (Shimura et al., 2013).
Virions of most members of the genus have quasi-isometric (26–36 nm in diameter) or occasionally bacilliform particles of four different size classes (Figure 1B.Bromoviridae). Bacilliform particles occur in plants infected by prune dwarf virus (PDV), tulare apple mosaic virus (TAMV), prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), apple mosaic virus (ApMV) and spinach latent virus (SpLV). Cryoelectron microscopy of preparations of tobacco streak virus (TSV), a member of the type species Tobacco streak virus, revealed isometric particles permeated by numerous pores, which may explain the lability of these viruses (Figure 1E.Bromoviridae) (Pallas et al., 2013).
There is a short region of sequence similarity at the 3′-ends of the RNAs.
Virions contain a coat protein (CP) of 24.5 kDa.
Lipids are not associated with virions
Carbohydrates are not associated with virions
The genome is organized as depicted in Figure 2A.Bromoviridae for ilarviruses of subgroups 3 and 4 and Figure 2C.Bromoviridae for ilarviruses of subgroups 1 and 2. The CP is required for activation of replication, but may be substituted with CP from alfalfa mosaic virus (genus Alfamovirus).
Ilarviruses mainly infect woody plants. Viruses are present in/on the pollen and may be transmitted when wind-blown pollen and populations of vector thrips are coincident on a susceptible host.
Virions are “unpromising subjects for the raising of good antisera” (Bujarski et al., 2012). Subgroups within the genus were defined based on the presence of serological relationships among some, but not all, members of each subgroup. Sequence data have supported many of the serological relationships but also showed potential relationships among viruses not previously demonstrated as related. Some serological relationships have been reported between viruses in different subgroups and might be associated with conserved amino acids and secondary structures. Monoclonal antibodies and antibodies produced against recombinant proteins (Abou-Jawdah et al., 2004, Menzel et al., 2012) have addressed some of the problems associated with the serological detection of ilarviruses (Pallas et al., 2013).
Ilar: from isometric labile ringspot
Criteria used for demarcation of species within the genus are serology, host range and sequence similarity although specific levels of sequence similarity have not been defined.
Ilarviruses were initially grouped on the basis of serological relationships. Sequence data have confirmed some of these groupings but have also shown that some species were grouped inappropriately (Pallas et al., 2013).
Bacopa chlorosis virus
RNA1: FJ607140; RNA2: FJ607141; RNA3: FJ607142
tomato necrotic spot virus
cape gooseberry ilarvirus 1
RNA1: MG201991; RNA2: MG201992; RNA3: MG201993
apple necrotic mosaic virus
RNA1: KI808376; RNA2: KI808377; RNA3: KI808378
Viola white distortion virus
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