Geminiviruses (Geminiviridae) are a diverse group of plant viruses differing from other known plant viruses in possessing circular, single- stranded DNA. Current classification divides the family into three subgroups, defined in part by genome organization, insect vector, and plant host range. Previous phylogenetic assessments of geminiviruses have used DNA and/or amino acid sequences from the replication-associated and coat protein genes and have relied predominantly on distance analyses. We used amino acid and DNA sequence data from the replication-associated and coat protein genes from 22 geminivirus types in distance and parsimony analyses. Although the results of our analyses largely agree with those reported previously, we could not always predict vital relationships based on genome organization, plant host, or insect vector. Loss of correlation of these traits with phylogeny is likely due to improved sampling of geminivirus types. Unrooted parsimony trees suggest multiple independent origins for the monopartite genome. Genome organization is therefore a dynamic character. Estimates of nonsynonymous and synonymous nucleotide substitutions for extant and inferred ancestral sequences were used to evaluate hypotheses that the replication-associated and coat protein sequences evolve to accommodate plant host and insect vector specificities, respectively. Results suggest that plant host specificity does not solely direct replication-associated protein evolution but that coat protein sequence does evolve in response to insect vector specificity. Genome organization and, possibly, plant host specificity are not reliable taxonomic characters.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Molecular biology and evolution|
|State||Published - 1997|