Abstract

The complete infectious genome of a South African isolate of the geminivirus maize streak (MSV-S) has been cloned, characterized, and sequenced. Using an A. tumefaciens Ti plasmid delivery system, the cloned 2.7 kb single circular MSV component was shown to be necessary and sufficient for infection of maize. Based on sequence analysis of the infectious clone, MSV-S is highly homologous to the previously characterized Kenyan and Nigerian isolates. While the genomic organization of MSV-S has elements in common with each of these previously characterized isolates, it is identical to neither and its analysis addresses the discrepancies between then. The result is a somewhat simplified and unified picture of the viral genome, the structural organization of which is essentially identical to that of wheat dwarf virus.

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