DNA β molecules are symptom-modulating, single-stranded DNA satellites associated with monopartite begomoviruses (family Geminiviridae). Such molecules have thus far been shown to be associated with Ageratum yellow vein virus from Singapore and Cotton leaf curl Multan virus from Pakistan. Here, 26 additional DNA β molecules, associated with diverse plant species obtained from different geographical locations, were cloned and sequenced. These molecules were shown to be widespread in the Old World, where monopartite begomoviruses are known to occur. Analysis of the sequences revealed a highly conserved organization for DNA β molecules consisting of a single conserved open reading frame, an adenine-rich region, and a region of high sequence conservation [the satellite conserved region (SCR)]. The SCR contains a potential hairpin structure with the loop sequence TAA/GTATTAC; similar to the origins of replication of geminiviruses and nanoviruses. Two major groups of DNA β satellites were resolved by phylogenetic analyses. One group originated from hosts within the Malvaceae and the second from a more diverse group of plants within the Solanaceae and Compositae. Within the two clusters, DNA β molecules showed relatedness based both on host and geographic origin. These findings strongly support coadaptation of DNA β molecules with their respective helper begomoviruses.
- DNA β
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