Genus: Oleavirus

Genus: Oleavirus

Distinguishing features

A fourth RNA with no apparent messenger activity, and which is slightly smaller than the RNA3, is encapsidated by the virus.



Virions have different shape and size, ranging from quasi-spherical with a diameter of 26 nm, to bacilliform with lengths of 37, 43, 38, and 55 nm, and diameters of 18 nm. Particles up to 85 nm in length occasionally are present (Figure 1D.Bromoviridae). 

Physicochemical and physical properties

In sucrose gradients, virions sediment as five or six components.

Nucleic acid

Virion RNA differs in size from that of other members of the family, encapsidating the three genomic RNAs and a subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) of about 2 kb, that is apparently not an mRNA. The sgRNA for the coat protein (CP) ORF is not encapsidated. Three additional RNAs of 200 to 550 nt are also present in virions. The 5′-termini of the genomic RNAs are capped, but not the 5′-terminus of the encapsidated sgRNA. The 3′-termini of the RNAs are similar to those of the viruses belonging to genera Alfamovirus and Ilarvirus, but do not interact with CP to activate replication.


Virions contain a CP of 24 kDa.


Lipids are not associated with virions


Carbohydrates are not associated with virions 

Genome organization and replication

The genome is organized as depicted in Figure 2A.Bromoviridae and consists of three functional molecules of 3126 nt (RNA1, monocistronic), 2734 nt (RNA2, monocistronic), and 2438 nt (RNA3, bicistronic). Virions encapsidate a fourth RNA of 2078 nt in size (RNA4) with no apparent messenger activity. The strategy of replication includes proteolytic processing and subgenomic RNA production (Martelli and Grieco 1997). Oleavirus RNAs do not have a straightforward relationship with those of members of any of the current genera in the Bromoviridae, the closest homologue depending on which virus RNA is being compared.


Olive latent virus 2 (OLV2) has been recorded in southern Italy in olive and in Aegean Greek islands of Rodi and Kastellorizo on castor bean (Ricinus communis). Infections are asymptomatic in olive whereas castor bean plants show yellowish vein netting and mottling of the leaves (Grieco et al., 2002). The virus is transmitted by inoculations, but no insect vector is known.


Virions are efficient immunogens.

Derivation of names

Olea: from the genus name of the host, olive (Olea)

Species demarcation criteria

Not applicable as there is only a single species in the genus.

Member species

Exemplar isolate of the species
SpeciesVirus nameIsolateAccession numberRefSeq numberAvailable sequenceVirus Abbrev.
Olive latent virus 2olive latent virus 2ApuliaRNA1: X94346; RNA2: X94347; RNA3: X76993RNA1: NC_003673; RNA2: NC_003674; RNA3: NC_003671Complete genomeOLV2

Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.