Molecular and biological characterization of a novel botybirnavirus identified from a Pakistani isolate of Alternaria alternata

Wajeeha Shamsi, Yukiyo Sato, Atif Jamal, Sabitree Shahi, Hideki Kondo, Nobuhiro Suzuki, Muhammad Faraz Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Mycoviruses ubiquitously infect a wide range of fungal hosts in the world. The current study reports a novel double stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus, termed Alternaria alternata botybirnavirus 1 (AaBbV1), infecting a Pakistani strain, 4a, of a phytopathogenic ascomycetous fungus Alternaria alternata. A combined approach of next generation and conventional terminal end sequencing of the viral genome revealed that the virus is a distinct member of the genus Botybirnavirus. This virus comprised of two segments (dsRNA1 and dsRNA2) of sizes 6127 bp and 5860 bp respectively. The dsRNA1-encoded protein carrying the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domain showed 61% identity to the counterpart of Botrytis porri botybirnavirus 1 and lower levels of amino acid similarity with those of other putative botybirnaviruses and the fungal dsRNA viruses such as members of the families Totiviridae, Chrysoviridae and Megabirnaviridae. The dsRNA2-encoded protein showed resemblance with corresponding proteins of botybirnaviruses. Electron microscopy showed AaBbV1 to form spherical particles of 40 nm in diameter. Biochemical analyses showed that two structural proteins encoded by dsRNA1 and dsRNA2 underwent processing to some extent during particle purification, resulting in the appearance of multiple smaller products. Phylogenetic analyses of structural proteins suggested that their coding region might have been duplicated once and maintained without recombination. Protoplast fusion technique allowed for the introduction of AaBbV1 into a virus free Japanese strain of A. alternata and demonstrated its symptomless infection by the virus. Interesting similarities and dissimilarities between AaBbV1 and other previously reported botybirnaviruses are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-128
Number of pages10
JournalVirus research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2 2019


  • Alternaria alternata
  • Botybirnavirus
  • DsRNA
  • Mycovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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