Genetic diversity of subgroup 1 ilarviruses from eastern Australia.
This is the first report of the genetic diversity within ilarvirus subgroup 1 from eastern Australia. It supports the separation of tobacco streak virus (TSV) strains from parthenium (Parthenium hysterophorus) and crownbeard (Verbescina encelioides) based on serology and host specificity. It has confirmed one previously described strain of TSV as a member of the species Strawberry necrotic shock virus and another as a new subgroup 1 ilarvirus, ageratum latent virus (AgLV), from Ageratum houstonianum. A multiplex RT-PCR showed that the genetically distinct strains of TSV and AgLV were commonly found in symptomless infections in virus-specific alternative weed hosts growing over a wide geographical range in eastern Australia. TSV has been one of the most damaging viruses in Australian oilseed and pulse crops in recent years, and this study has provided the taxonomic knowledge essential for the development of control programs for these viruses.