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Four closely related endornaviruses each with a low incidence in the phytopathogenic fungi Exserohilum turcicum or Bipolaris maydis.

Virus Research 2023 October 27
Endornaviruses are known to occur widely in plants, fungi, and oomycetes, but our understanding of their diversity and distribution is limited. In this study, we report the discovery of four endornaviruses tentatively named Setosphaeria turcica endornavirus 1 (StEV1), Setosphaeria turcica endornavirus 2 (StEV2), Bipolaris maydis endornavirus 1 (BmEV1), and Bipolaris maydis endornavirus 2 (BmEV2). StEV1 and StEV2 infect Exserohilum turcicum, while BmEV1 and BmEV2 infect Bipolaris maydis. The four viruses encode a polyprotein with less than 40% amino acid sequence identity to other known endornaviruses, indicating that they are novel, previously undescribed endornaviruses. However, StEV1 and BmEV1 share a sequence identity of 78% at the full-genome level and 87% at the polyprotein level, suggesting that they may belong to the same species. Our study also found that each of the four endornaviruses has an incidence of approximately 3.5% to 5.5% in E. turcicum or B. maydis. Interestingly, BmEV1 and BmEV2 were found to be unable to transmit between hosts of different vegetative incompatibility groups, which may explain their low incidence.

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