Identification of long intergenic region sequences involved in maize streak virus replication

Janet A Willment, Darrin P Martin, Kenneth E Palmer, Wendelin H Schnippenkoetter, Dionne N Shepherd, Edward P Rybicki

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17 Citations (Scopus)


The main cis-acting control regions for replication of the single-stranded DNA genome of maize streak virus (MSV) are believed to reside within an approximately 310 nt long intergenic region (LIR). However, neither the minimum LIR sequence required nor the sequence determinants of replication specificity have been determined experimentally. There are iterated sequences, or iterons, both within the conserved inverted-repeat sequences with the potential to form a stem-loop structure at the origin of virion-strand replication, and upstream of the rep gene TATA box (the rep-proximal iteron or RPI). Based on experimental analyses of similar iterons in viruses from other geminivirus genera and their proximity to known Rep-binding sites in the distantly related mastrevirus wheat dwarf virus, it has been hypothesized that the iterons may be Rep-binding and/or -recognition sequences. Here, a series of LIR deletion mutants was used to define the upper bounds of the LIR sequence required for replication. After identifying MSV strains and distinct mastreviruses with incompatible replication-specificity determinants (RSDs), LIR chimaeras were used to map the primary MSV RSD to a 67 nt sequence containing the RPI. Although the results generally support the prevailing hypothesis that MSV iterons are functional analogues of those found in other geminivirus genera, it is demonstrated that neither the inverted-repeat nor RPI sequences are absolute determinants of replication specificity. Moreover, widely divergent mastreviruses can trans-replicate one another. These results also suggest that sequences in the 67 nt region surrounding the RPI interact in a sequence-specific manner with those of the inverted repeat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1841
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • DNA, Intergenic
  • DNA, Viral
  • Geminiviridae
  • Maize streak virus
  • Mutagenesis
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Replication Origin
  • Sequence Deletion
  • Virus Replication


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