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Description of a Novel Mycovirus in the Phytopathogen Fusarium culmorum and a Related EVE in the Yeast Lipomyces starkeyi

UCLouvain, Earth and Life Institute, Applied Microbiology-Phytopathology, Croix du Sud 2-L07.05.03, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
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Viruses 2020, 12(5), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12050523
Received: 13 March 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 8 May 2020 / Published: 9 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Mycoviruses)
A new mycovirus was found in the Fusarium culmorum strain A104-1 originally sampled on wheat in Belgium. This novel virus, for which the name Fusarium culmorum virus 1 (FcV1) is suggested, is phylogenetically related to members of the previously proposed family ‘’Unirnaviridae’’. FcV1 has a monopartite dsRNA genome of 2898 bp that harbors two large non-overlapping ORFs. A typical -1 slippery motif is found at the end of ORF1, advocating that ORF2 is translated by programmed ribosomal frameshifting. While ORF2 exhibits a conserved replicase domain, ORF1 encodes for an undetermined protein. Interestingly, a hypothetically transcribed gene similar to unirnaviruses ORF1 was found in the genome of Lipomyces starkeyi, presumably resulting from a viral endogenization in this yeast. Conidial isolation and chemical treatment were unsuccessful to obtain a virus-free isogenic line of the fungal host, highlighting a high retention rate for FcV1 but hindering its biological characterization. In parallel, attempt to horizontally transfer FcV1 to another strain of F. culmorum by dual culture failed. Eventually, a screening of other strains of the same fungal species suggests the presence of FcV1 in two other strains from Europe. View Full-Text
Keywords: mycovirus; dsRNA; Unirnaviridae; Fusarium culmorum; EVE; Lipomyces starkeyi mycovirus; dsRNA; Unirnaviridae; Fusarium culmorum; EVE; Lipomyces starkeyi
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Mahillon, M.; Romay, G.; Liénard, C.; Legrève, A.; Bragard, C. Description of a Novel Mycovirus in the Phytopathogen Fusarium culmorum and a Related EVE in the Yeast Lipomyces starkeyi. Viruses 2020, 12, 523.

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