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Khalili M, Candresse T, Koloniuk I, Safarova D, Brans Y, Faure C, Delmas M, Massart S, Aranda MA, Cagalayan K, Decroocq V, Drogoudi P, Glasa M, Pantelidis G, Navratil M, Latour F, Spak J, Pribylova J, Mihalik D, Palmisano F, Saponari A, Necas T, Sedlack J, Marais A. Phytopathology 2023 doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-06-22-0203-R. Members of the genus Luteovirus are responsible for economically destructive plant diseases worldwide. In Prunus trees, three luteoviruses had been characterized so far. Applying high-throughput sequencing to 350 Prunus samples and datamining allowed to identify five novel luteoviruses. The development of specific diagnostic tests allowed to demonstrate that peach-infecting luteoviruses have a high prevalence and a wide distribution in Europe, apparently without causing any significant symptoms.

Over the past few years, three luteoviruses infecting Prunus have been characterized, without any clear data on their biology, genetic diversity, and prevalence. In this study, high throughput sequencing of 350 Prunus samples enabled the identification of four novel luteoviruses, for which we obtained complete genomes. Another new putative species was recovered from sequence archives reads. A survey aiming to estimate the distribution at the European level of the three peach-infecting luteoviruses showed that peach-associated luteovirus (PaLV), nectarine stem pitting-associated virus (NSPaV), and the novel luteovirus, peach-associated luteovirus 2 (PaLV2), are present in the eight countries investigated, while the most prevalent virus was NSPaV, followed by PaLV. The biological indexing on GF305 peach indicators demonstrated that they are all transmitted by graft at different rates. The data generated during this study provide a broader overview of genetic diversity and the geographical distribution and prevalence of peach-infecting luteoviruses, and suggest these viruses are likely asymptomatic in peach under most circumstances. 

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