Recent in planta studies have shown that strains Fny and LS of Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) display differential genetic diversities, Fny and LS having higher and lower mutation frequencies, respectively (J. S. Pita and M. J. Roossinck, J Virol 87:790-797, 2012 http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01891-12). In this article, we show that these virus strains have differential recombination frequencies as well. However, the high-diversity Fny strain is a low-recombination virus, whereas the very-low-diversity LS strain is instead a high-recombination virus. Unlike the mutation frequency that was determined by both RNAs 1 and 2, the control elements of recombination frequency reside predominantly within RNA 2, specifically within the 2a gene. IMPORTANCE: Recombination is an important mechanism in virus evolution that can lead to increased or decreased variation and is a major player in virus speciation events that can lead to emerging viruses. Although viral genomes show very frequent evidence of recombination, details of the mechanism involved in these events are still poorly understood. We show here that the reciprocal effects of high mutation frequency and low recombination frequency (and vice versa) involve the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the virus, and we speculate that these evolutionary events are related to differences in processivity for two strains of the same virus.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science