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Mol Biol Evol. 2001 Jan;18(1):10-21.

Evidence for positive selection in the capsid protein-coding region of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) subjected to experimental passage regimens.

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Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biología Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Spain.


We present sequence data from two genomic regions of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) subjected to several experimental passage regimens. Maximum-likelihood estimates of the nonsynonymous-to-synonymous rate ratio parameter (d(N)/d(S)) suggested the action of positive selection on some antigenic sites of the FMDV capsid during some experimental passages. These antigenic sites showed an accumulation of convergent amino acid replacements during massive serial cytolytic passages and also in persistent infections of FMDV in cell culture. This accumulation was most significant at the antigenic site A (the G-H loop of capsid VP1), which includes an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) cellular recognition motif. Our analyses also identified a subregion of VP3, part of the fivefold axis of FMDV particles, that also appeared to be subjected to positive selection of amino acid replacements. From these results, we can conclude that under the restrictive conditions imposed either by the presence of the monoclonal antibodies, by the persistent infections, or by the competition processes established between different variants of the viral population, amino acid replacement in some capsid-coding regions can be positively selected toward an increase of those mutants with a higher capability to infect the cell.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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