Characterization and Construction of Functional cDNA Clones of Pariacoto Virus, the First Alphanodavirus Isolated outside Australasia
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Pariacoto virus (PaV) was recently isolated in Peru from the Southern armyworm (Spodoptera eridania). PaV particles are isometric, nonenveloped, and about 30 nm in diameter, The virus has a bipartite RNA genome and a single major capsid protein with a molecular mass of 39.0 kDa, features that support its classification as a Nodavirus. As such, PaV is the first Alphanodavirus to have been isolated from outside Australasia, Here we report that PaV replicates in was moth larvae and that PaV genomic RNAs replicate when transfected into cultured baby hamster kidney cells. The complete nucleotide sequences of both segments of the bipartite RNA genome were determined. The larger genome segment, RNA1, is 3,011 nucleotides long and contains a 973-amino-acid open reading frame (ORF) encoding protein A, the viral contribution to the RNA replicase, During replication, a 414-nucleotide long subgenomic RNA (RNA3) is synthesized which is coterminal with the 3' end of RNA1, RNA3 contains a small ORF which could encode a protein of 90 amino acids similar to the B2 protein of other alphanodaviruses, RNA2 contains 1,311 nucleotides and encodes the 401 amino acids of the capsid protein precursor a. The amino acid sequences of the PaV capsid protein and the replicase subunit share 41 and 26% identity with homologous proteins of Flock house virus, the best characterized of the alphanodaviruses, These and other sequence comparisons indicate that PaV is evolutionarily the most distant of the alphanodaviruses described to date, consistent with its novel geographic origin. Although the PaV capsid precursor is cleaved into the two mature capsid proteins beta and gamma, the amino acid sequence at the cleavage site, which is Asn/Ala in all other alphanodaviruses, is Asn/Ser in PaV, To facilitate the investigation of PaV replication in cultured cells, me constructed plasmids that transcribed full-length PaV RNAs with authentic 5' and 3' termini, Transcription of these plasmids in cells recreated the replication of PaV RNA1 and RNA2, synthesis of subgenomic RNA3, and translation of viral proteins A and a.
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