• A Complex of Badnavirus Species Infecting Cacao Reveals Mixed Infections, Extensive Genomic Variability, and Interspecific Recombination

      Ramos-Sobrinho, Roberto; Chingandu, Nomatter; A Gutierrez, Osman; Marelli, Jean-Philippe; K Brown, Judith; Univ Arizona, Sch Plant Sci (MDPI, 2020-04-14)
      The incidence of cacao swollen shoot disease (CSSD) in cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) has increased in West Africa since similar to 2000. To investigate the genomic and species diversity of the CSSD-badnaviruses infecting cacao in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, symptomatic leaves were subjected to high-throughput sequencing. Among the 30 newly determined genomes, three badnaviruses were identified, Cacao swollen shoot Togo B virus (CSSTBV), Cacao swollen shoot CD virus, and Cacao swollen shoot CE virus (CSSCEV). The phylogenetic trees reconstructed for the reverse transcriptase (RT) and ribonuclease H (RNase H) sequences were incongruent with the complete viral genomes, which had the most robust statistical support. Recombination seems to be involved in the CSSD-badnavirus diversification. The genomic diversity varied among different CSSD-badnaviruses, with CSSTBV showing the lowest nucleotide diversity (pi = 0.06236), and CSSCEV exhibiting the greatest variability (pi = 0.21911). Evidence of strong purifying selection was found in the coding regions of the CSSTBV isolates.