Published on Mon Sep 27 2021

Evolutionary dynamics of Begomoviruses causing Papaya leaf curl disease in India

Srivasatava, A., Pandey, V., Sahu, A. K., Yadav, D., Gaur, R.

The genus begomovirus represents a group of multipartite viruses that significantly damages many agricultural crops, including papaya. Understanding the genetic variations, mutations and recombination has several important implications in alleviating substantial losses, mainly in developing countries.

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Abstract

The genus begomovirus represents a group of multipartite viruses that significantly damages many agricultural crops, including papaya and drastically influence the overall production. Understanding the genetic variations, mutations and recombination of the begomovirus population infecting papaya has several important implications in alleviating substantial losses, mainly in developing countries, including India. In an attempt for a bioinformatics driven study of diversity and variability of papaya leaf curl disease in India, a total of thirty-two (32) DNA-A and sixteen (16) betasatellite sequences were retrieved from GenBank. An uneven distribution of evolutionary divergence has been observed across the branch length, which triggered the estimated recombinational event. Interestingly, a maximum of the begomoviruses were found to be intra-species recombinants. Further genetic variability, selection pressure, and substitution rate acting on the population were estimated and found to be high enough to support the evolution of geminiviruses. Genetic divergence composition in all begomovirus datasets revealed predominance of nucleotide diversity driven by mutation. The analysis indicates that even though a significant fraction of the genetic variations might be due to recombination but, it was constantly lower than the mutation rate. Thus, the diversification of the begomovirus population is principally impelled by mutational dynamics.