Virology. 2017 Feb 1;504:88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.11.017. [Epub ahead of print]
Maize chlorotic dwarf virus (MCDV), a member of the genus Waikavirus, family Secoviridae, has a 11784 nt (+)ssRNA genome that encodes a 389kDa proteolytically processed polyprotein. We show that the N-terminal 78kDa polyprotein (R78) of MCDV acts as a suppressor of RNA silencing in a well-established assay system. We further demonstrate that R78 is cleaved by the viral 3C-like protease into 51 and 27kDa proteins (p51 and p27), and that p51 is responsible for silencing suppressor activity. Silencing suppressor activity of R78 is conserved in three divergent MCDV strains (MCDV-Severe, MCDV-M1, and MCDV-Tennessee), as well as the waikavirus Bellflower vein chlorosis virus, but was not detected for orthologous protein of Rice tungro spherical virus (RTSV-A) or the similarly-positioned protein from the sequivirus Parsnip yellow fleck virus (PYFV). This is the first identification of a virus suppressor of RNA silencing encoded by a waikavirus.