A novel virus transmitted through pollination causes ring-spot disease on gentian (Gentiana triflora) ovaries.
In this study, we identified a novel virus from gentian (Gentiana triflora) that causes ring-spots on ovaries. Furthermore, the virus causes unusual symptoms, ring-spots that appear specifically on the outer surface of the ovarian wall after pollination. Pollen grains carrying the virus were used to infect host plants by hand-pollination. RNA extracted from purified virions indicated that the virus had two segments, RNA1 and RNA2. The full-length cDNA sequence indicated that RNA1 had two ORFs: ORF1 had methyltransferase and helicase motifs, and ORF2 had an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase motif. RNA2 had five ORFs encoding a coat protein, triple gene block proteins 1-3 and a cysteine-rich protein. The length of RNA1 was 5519 bases and that of RNA2 was 3810 bases not including a polyU/polyA region between the first and second ORFs. Viral RNA does not have a polyA tail at the 3' end. Sequence similarity and phylogenetic analysis suggested that the virus is closely related to members of the genera Pecluvirus and Hordeivirus but distinct from them. These combined results suggest that the causal agent inducing ring-spot symptoms on gentian ovaries is a new virus belonging to the family Virgaviridae but not to any presently known genus. We tentatively name the virus gentian ovary ring-spot virus.