Bromoviridae and Allies


The family Bromoviridae consists of six genera: Alfamovirus, Anulavirus, Bromovirus, Cucumovirus, Ilarvirus and Oleavirus. All viruses in these genera possess tripartite genomes of single‐stranded, linear, positive‐sense ribonucleic acid (RNA), in which expression of the downstream codon of the RNA3 is via a subgenomic messenger RNA (mRNA) (RNA4). Raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV) was the sole member of the genus Idaeovirus for many years and shares features in common with members of the genus Ilarvirus and Alfamovirus, but possesses a bipartite genome and is not currently assigned to a family. Members of the genera Alfamovirus, Bromovirus and Cucumovirus have been used extensively as model systems for research on molecular aspects of plant virology.

Key Concepts:

  • Although all members of the Bromoviridae have similar particle morphologies (quasi‐spherical and bacilliform) and possess tripartite genomes, a range of different strategies is used to express the products of the different genomes.

  • The phenomenon of genome activation by the coat protein was unique to the ilarviruses and Alfalfa mosaic virus but has recently been demonstrated for RBDV.

  • The natural host ranges of Cucumber mosaic virus and Alfalfa mosaic virus are extensive whereas many other viruses described in this article have an extremely limited natural host range.

  • Complete genomic nucleotide sequences are available from GenBank for the majority of viruses referred to in this article.

Keywords: Alfamovirus; Anulavirus; Bromovirus; Cucumovirus; Ilarvirus; Oleavirus; Idaeovirus

Figure 1.

Genomic arrangements of the Bromoviridae and allies. (a) The genera , Alfamovirus, Anulavirus, Bromovirus and some members of the genus Ilarvirus. (b) The genus Cucumovirus and some members of the genus Ilarvirus. An additional 2b ORF is present. (c) The genus Oleavirus. (d) The genus Idaeovirus. ×××, N‐methyl transferase motif; +++, helicase motif; ooo, polymerase motif found in the putative translation products of the RNA1 and RNA2 of all members of the Bromoviridae and in the RNA1 of RBDV. MP, movement protein; CP, coat protein. See Table for the sizes of the individual RNA molecules within the genomes. sg, subgenomic.



Adams IP, Glover RH, Monger WA, Mumford R and Boonham N (2009) Next generation sequencing and metagenomic analysis: a universal diagnostic tool in plant virology. Molecular Plant Pathology 10: 537–545.

Amari K, Burgos L, Pallas V and Sanchez‐Pina MA (2009) Vertical transmission of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus: hitch‐hiking from gametes to seedling. Journal of General Virology 90: 1767–1774.

Di Terlizzi B, Skrzeczkowski LJ, Mink GI, Scott SW and Zimmerman MT (2001) The RNA 5 of Prunus necrotic ringspot virus is a biologically inactive copy of the 3 –UTR of the genomic RNA 3. Archives of Virology 146: 825–833.

Ding SW, Anderson BJ, Haase HR and Symons RH (1994) New overlapping gene encoded by the cucumber mosaic virus genome. Virology 198: 593–601.

Fuchs M, Ferreira S and Gonsalves D (1997) Management of virus diseases by classical and engineered protection. Molecular Plant Pathology. On‐Line. [].

Gallitelli D (1982) Properties of tomato isolate of Pelargonium zonate spot virus. Annals of Applied Biology 100: 457–466.

Gallitelli D, Finetti‐Sialer M and Martelli GP (2005) Anulavirus, a proposed new genus of plant viruses in the family Bromoviridae. Archives of Virology 150: 407–411.

Greber RS, Teakle DS and Mink GI (1992) Thrips facilitated transmission of prune dwarf virus and prunus necrotic ringspot virus from cherry pollen to cucumber. Plant Disease 76: 1039–1041.

Grieco F, Dell'Orco M and Martelli GP (1996) The nucleotide sequence of RNA 1 and RNA 2 of olive latent virus 2 and its relationship to the family Bromoviridae. Journal of General Virology 77: 2637–2644.

Goldbach R, Bucher E and Prins M (2003) Resistance mechanisms to plant viruses: an overview. Virus Research 92: 207–212.

Guo H‐S and Ding SW (2002) A viral protein inhibits the long‐range signaling of activity of the gene silencing signal. The EMBO Journal 21: 398–407.

Guogas LM, Filman DJ, Hogle JM and Gehrke L (2004) Cofolding organizes Alfalfa mosaic virus RNA and coat protein for replication. Science 306: 2108–2111.

Liu S, He X, Park G, Josefsson C and Perry KL (2002) A conserved capsid protein surface domain of Cucumber mosaic virus is essential for efficient aphid vector transmission. Virology 76: 9756–9762.

MacFarlane SA and McGavin WJ (2009) Genome activation by raspberry bushy dwarf virus coat protein. Journal of General Virology 90: 747–753.

Martelli GP and Grieco F (1997) Oleavirus, a new genus in the family Bromoviridae. Archives of Virology 142: 1933–1936.

Roossinck MJ, Sleat D and Palukaitis P (1992) Satellite RNAs of plant viruses: structures and biological effects. Microbiological Reviews 56: 265–279.

Valverde RA and Sabanadzovic S (2009) A novel plant virus with unique properties infecting Japanese holly fern. Journal of General Virology 90: 2542–2549.

van Vloten‐Doting L (1975) Coat protein is required for infectivity of tobacco streak virus: biological equivalence of the coat proteins of tobacco streak virus and Alfalfa mosaic virus. Virology 65: 215–225.

Wood NT, McGavin WJ, Mayo MA and Jones AT (2004) Studies on a putative second gene in the RNA1 of Raspberry bushy dwarf virus. Acta Horticulturae 551: 19–22.

Xin HW, Ji LH, Scott SW, Symons RH and Ding SW (1998) Ilarviruses encode a cucumovirus‐like 2b gene that is absent in other genera within the Bromoviridae. Journal of Virology 72: 6956–6959.

Further Reading

Ahlquist P (1992) Bromovirus RNA replication and transcription. Current Opinions in Genetics and Development 2: 71–76.

Bol JL (2005) Replication of Alfamo‐ and Ilarviruses: role of the coat protein. Annual Review of Phytopathology 43: 39–62.

Codoñer FM and Elena SF (2008) The promiscuous evolutionary history of the Bromoviridae. Journal of General Virology 89: 1739–1747.

Fauquet CM, Mayo MA, Maniloff J, Desselberger U and Ball LA (2005) Virus Taxonomy. Eighth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. San Diego, CA: Elsevier Academic Press.

Finetti‐Sialer M and Gallitelli D (2003) Complete nucleotide sequence of Pelargonium zonate spot virus and its relationship with the family Bromoviridae. Journal of General Virology 84: 3143–3151.

Francki RIB (ed.) (1985) The Plant Viruses. Vol. 1: Polyhedral Virions with Tripartite Genomes. New York: Plenum Press.

Jones AT, Mayo MA and Murant AF (1996) Raspberry bushy dwarf idaeovirus. In: Harrison B and Murant AF (eds) The Plant Viruses. Vol. 5: Polyhedral Virions and Bipartite RNA Genomes. New York: Plenum Press.

Mahey BWJ and van Regenmortel MHV (eds) (2008) The Encyclopedia of Virology. Elsevier.

Mink GI (1992) Ilarvirus vectors. Advances in Disease Vector Research 9: 261–281.

Palukaitis P and Garcia‐Arenal F (2003) Cucumoviruses. Advances in Virus Research 62: 241–323.

Tidona CA and Darai G (eds) (2001 and 2011) The Springer Index of Viruses. Springer Verlag.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Scott, Simon W(May 2011) Bromoviridae and Allies. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0000745.pub3]