Cucumber mosaic virus


DISEASE: Cucumber mosaic

PATHOGEN: Cucumber mosaic virus

HOSTS: Over 1200 species in over 100 families of monocots and dicots, including many vegetables, ornamentals and woody and semi-woody plants.

Historically, Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) was first described in detail in 1916 on cucumber (simultaneously by Doolittle and Jagger) (Figures 1, 2) and other cucurbits, but is now known to occur worldwide in both temperate and tropical climates, affecting many agricultural and horticultural crops. Development of genetic resistance to CMV in many vegetables has made a valuable contribution for disease management of this important virus disease.

CMV infects 1200 species in over 100 plant families and can cause significant economic losses in many vegetable and horticultural crops. CMV causes a systemic infection in most host plants, but may remain symptomless in some crops like alfalfa. Symptoms of cucumber mosaic can vary greatly depending on the crop infected and the age of the plant when infection occurs.

CMV is the type species of the genus Cucumovirus in the family Bromoviridae. It consists of three spherical particles, each approximately 28 nm in diameter. The CMV genome consists of three single-stranded, messenger-sense RNA molecules, designated RNA 1 (~3,350 nucleotides), RNA 2 (~3,050 nucleotides) and RNA 3 (~2,200 nucleotides) (Figure 6). Each RNA molecule is enclosed within a protective protein coat with each being a distinct single spherical-shaped particle. Thus, a mature CMV consists of three spherical particles, one particle containing RNA 1, another containing RNA 2 and the third containing RNA 3. The RNA 3 particle may contain a fourth RNA strand, referred to as RNA 4 (~1,030 nucleotides), which encodes the coat protein gene and from which the CMV coat protein is produced. This type of translational strategy, referred to as subgenomic RNA, consists of a separate strand of RNA produced during replication. While CMV RNA 3 contains the coat protein gene, that gene is only translated to produce the coat protein from its subgenomic strand. The general replication/translation scheme for RNAs 1-3

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