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Identification and characterization of Phaseolus vulgaris endornavirus 1, 2 and 3 in common bean cultivars of East Africa.

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Persistent viruses include members of the family Endornavirus that cause no apparent disease and are transmitted exclusively via seed or pollen. It is speculated that these RNA viruses may be mutualists that enhance plant resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses. Using reverse transcription coupled polymerase chain reactions, we investigated if common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) varieties popular in east Africa were hosts for Phaseolus vulgaris endornavirus (PvEV) 1, 2 or 3. Out of 26 bean varieties examined, four were infected with PvEV1, three were infected with both PvEV1 and PvEV2 and three had infections of all three (PvEV) 1, 2 and 3. Notably, this was the first identification of PvEV3 in common bean from Africa. Using high-throughput sequencing of two east African bean varieties (KK022 and KK072), we confirmed the presence of these viruses and generated their genomes. Intra- and inter-species sequence comparisons of these genomes with comparator sequences from GenBank revealed clear species demarcation. In addition, phylogenetic analyses based on sequences generated from the helicase domains showed that geographical distribution does not correlate to genetic relatedness or the occurrence of endornaviruses. These findings are an important first step towards future investigations to determine if these viruses engender positive effects in common bean, a vital crop in east Africa.



Endornaviruses, Mixed virus infections, Phaseolus vulgaris

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Virus Genes

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
BBSRC (BB/W510609/1)
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2022-134)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/J011762/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/P023223/1)
Royal Society (FCG\R1\201005)
FOW was supported by a Royal Society Future Leaders – African Independent Research (FLAIR) Fellowship (FLR\R1\190462) and a Royal Society FLAIR Collaboration Grant 2020 (FCG\R1\201005), with funding by grants from the UK Biotechnological and Biological Sciences Research Council (SCPRID grant number BB/J011762/1, GCRF grant number BB/P023223/1, and 21ROMITIGATIONFUND CAMBRIDGE BB/W510609/1) and The Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2022-134).