The levels of population diversity of three related Sindbis-like plant viruses, Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), and Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus (CCMV), in infections of a common host, Nicotiana benthamiana, established from genetically identical viral RNA were examined. Despite probably having a common evolutionary ancestor, the three viruses maintained different levels of population diversity. CMV had the highest levels of diversity, TMV had an intermediate level of diversity, and CCMV had no measurable level of diversity in N. benthamiana. Interestingly, the levels of diversity were correlated to the relative host range sizes of the three viruses. The levels of diversity also remained relatively constant over the course of serial passage. Closer examination of the CMV and TMV populations revealed biases for particular types of substitutions and regions of the genome that may tolerate fewer mutations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science