The complete nucleotide sequence of hibiscus chlorotic ringspot virus (HCRSV) was determined. The genomic RNA (gRNA) is 3,911 nucleotides long and has the potential to encode seven viral proteins in the order of 28 (p28), 23 (p23), 81 (p81), 8 (p8), 9 (p9), 38 (p38), and 25 (p25) kDa. Excluding two unique open reading frames (ORFs) encoding p23 and p25, the ORFs encode proteins with high amino acid similarity to those of carmoviruses. In addition to gRNA, two 3′-coterminated subgenomic RNA (sgRNA) species were identified. Full-length cDNA clones derived from gRNA and sgRNA were constructed under the control of a T7 promoter. Both capped and uncapped transcripts derived from the full-length genomic cDNA clone were infectious. In vitro translation and mutagenesis assays confirmed that all the predicted ORFs except the ORF encoding p8 are translatable, and the two novel ORFs (those encoding p23 and p25) may be functionally indispensable for the viral infection cycle. Based on virion morphology and genome organization, we propose that HCRSV be classified as a new member of the genus Carmovirus in family Tombusviridae
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