Virology 2005 Jun;337(1):192-203
Department of Plant Biology and Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520, USA.
Many different viruses that reduce virulence and alter the phenotype to varying extents have been identified in the chestnut blight fungus Cryphonectria parasitica. Most viruses identified in this fungus fall within the Hypoviridae family of positive-sense RNA viruses, which contains one genus and four species. Different species predominate in different geographic locations in chestnut-growing areas around the world. In this paper, we describe the genome organization and some variants of Cryphonectria hypovirus 4 (CHV-4), the species most commonly found in eastern North America. CHV-4 is distinguished from other hypoviruses by having little effect on fungal virulence and colony morphology. The 9.1-kb genome of strain CHV-4/SR2 is the smallest of any member of the family characterized to date. Like the recently characterized species CHV-3, a single ORF was predicted from deduced translations of CHV-4/SR2. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a putative glucosyltransferase domain in both CHV-4 and in CHV-3, but no such homolog was detected in the more thoroughly examined CHV-1 or in CHV-2. Alignments with 8 other CHV-4 isolates from different regions of eastern North America revealed sequence diversity within the species and the likelihood that RNA recombination has led to this diversity.