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The prevalence of badnaviruses in West African yams (Dioscorea cayenensis-rotundata) and evidence of endogenous pararetrovirus sequences in their genomes

Yam (Dioscorea spp.) is an important vegetatively-propagated staple crop in West Africa. Viruses arepervasive in yam worldwide, decreasing growth and yield, as well as hindering the international move-ment of germplasm. Badnaviruses have been reported to be the most prevalent in yam, and genomesof some other badnaviruses are known to be integrated in their host plant species. However, it was notclear if a similar scenario occurs in Dioscorea yam. This study was conducted to verify the prevalence of badnaviruses, and determine if badnavirus genomes are integrated in the yam genome.