Recombination profiles between Tomato yellow leaf curl virus and Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus in laboratory and field conditions: evolutionary and taxonomic implications
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Tomato yellow leaf curl Sardinia virus and Tomato yellow leaf curl virus have co-existed in Italian tomato crops since 2002 and have reached equilibrium, with plants hosting molecules of both species plus their recombinants being the most frequent case. Recombination events are studied in field samples, as well as in experimental co-infections, when recombinants were detected as early as 45 days following inoculation. In both conditions, recombination breakpoints were essentially absent in regions corresponding to ORFs V2, CP and C4, whereas density was highest in the 3'-terminal portion of ORF C3, next to the region where the two transcription units co-terminate. The vast majority of breakpoints were mapped at antisense ORFs, supporting speculation that the rolling-circle replication mechanism, and the existence of sense and antisense ORFs on the circular genome, may result in clashes between replication and transcription complexes.