Genetic analysis suggests a long and largely isolated evolutionary history of plum pox virus strain D in Turkey.
Plum pox virus (PPV) strain D is globally distributed and causes serious losses in stone fruits in over 40 countries. Here, full-length genomic sequences were analysed for 44 PPV-D isolates from all regions of Turkey, together with partial sequences for a larger number of isolates. PPV-D isolates from Turkey are similar to other PPV-D isolates in all major genomic features. However, the majority of Turkish PPV-D isolates form separate phylogenetic clusters from all other isolates and show a geographical clustering tendency, suggestive of limited movement between regions. In particular, PPV-D isolates from Thrace and Central Anatolia formed a monophyletic sister cluster to the cluster that includes all previously known PPV-D isolates. Two isolates with strong evidence of recombination with the PPV-T strain were identified, together with two isolates with weaker evidence for intra-D strain recombination. The genetic diversity of PPV-D was found to be particularly high in Turkey (0.017±0.001%), close to that observed for PPV-D world diversity once the over-represented isolates from Japan, the USA and Canada have been excluded (0.020±0.001%). Taken together, these results suggest a long and largely isolated evolutionary history of PPV-D in Turkey and further extend knowledge of the diversity of this highly successful strain. The high diversity of PPV-D in Turkey, together with the basal phylogenetic position of Turkish isolates, are compatible with a hypothesis making Turkey the centre of origin of the D strain.