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- Author or Editor: Lorriane De Jesús-Kim x
Papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) devastates papaya production worldwide. In Puerto Rico, papaya fields can be completely infected with PRSV within a year of planting. Information about the diversity of the Puerto Rican PRSV (PR-PRSV) population is relevant to establish a control strategy in the island. The coat protein gene (cp) of PRSV was sequenced from 62 isolates from different regions in Puerto Rico. The viral population of PRSV in Puerto Rico has 4% nucleotide and 5% amino acid diversity. Analysis of the coat protein (CP) amino acid sequence showed a variable amino terminal (N-terminal) region with a conserved aphid transmission motif and a variable EK repeat region. The core and carboxyl terminal (C-terminal) region were conserved. In the phylogenetic analysis, Puerto Rican isolates grouped independently of their geographical origin, with the exception of southern isolates that formed two separate subgroups and were the most divergent. Sequences of the cp from the Puerto Rican isolates, when compared with sequences from other countries, showed least genetic distance with isolates from the United States and Australia, followed by other American and Caribbean isolates. The U.S. and Australian isolates are sister taxa to the Puerto Rican isolates in the phylogenetic tree. This suggests that PRSV from Puerto Rico and the isolates from the United States and Australia have a common origin thought to be from a Mexican population.