Evidence for novel viruses by analysis of nucleic acids in virus-like particle fractions from Ambrosia psilostachya. Academic Article uri icon


  • To test the hypothesis that many viruses remain to be discovered in plants, a procedure was developed to sequence nucleic acids cloned randomly from virus-like particle fractions of plant homogenates. As a test of the efficiency of the procedure we targeted Ambrosia psilostachya, western ragweed, plants growing at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve of northeastern Oklahoma. Amplifiable nucleic acid was found in the fractions from six of twelve specimens and sequences were characterized from four of them. Evidence was obtained for the presence of viruses belonging to two families (Caulimoviridae, Flexiviridae). Multiple viral species were found in two of the four specimens and their level within the isolated nucleic acid population varied from less than 1-37%. None of the sequences were derived from reported sequences of known viruses. Thus, the analysis of nucleic acid from virus-like particles is a useful tool to expand our knowledge of the universe of viruses to non-cultivated species.

published proceedings

  • J Virol Methods

author list (cited authors)

  • Melcher, U., Muthukumar, V., Wiley, G. B., Min, B. E., Palmer, M. W., Verchot-Lubicz, J., ... Pierce, M. L.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Melcher, Ulrich||Muthukumar, Vijay||Wiley, Graham B||Min, Byoung Eun||Palmer, Michael W||Verchot-Lubicz, Jeanmarie||Ali, Akhtar||Nelson, Richard S||Roe, Bruce A||Thapa, Vaskar||Pierce, Margaret L

publication date

  • September 2008