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J Gen Virol. 2002 Aug;83(Pt 8):1941-51.

Common evolutionary origin of aquareoviruses and orthoreoviruses revealed by genome characterization of Golden shiner reovirus, Grass carp reovirus, Striped bass reovirus and golden ide reovirus (genus Aquareovirus, family Reoviridae).

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Unité des Virus Emergents EA3292, Université de la Méditerranée, Faculté de Médecine de Marseille, EFS Alpes-Méditerranée, 13005 Marseille, France.


Full-length and partial genome sequences of four members of the genus Aquareovirus, family Reoviridae (Golden shiner reovirus, Grass carp reovirus, Striped bass reovirus and golden ide reovirus) were characterized. Based on sequence comparison, the unclassified Grass carp reovirus was shown to be a member of the species Aquareovirus C. The status of golden ide reovirus, another unclassified aquareovirus, was also examined. Sequence analysis showed that it did not belong to the species Aquareovirus A or C, but assessment of its relationship to the species Aquareovirus B, D, E and F was hampered by the absence of genetic data from these species. In agreement with previous reports of ultrastructural resemblance between aquareoviruses and orthoreoviruses, genetic analysis revealed homology in the genes of the two groups. This homology concerned eight of the 11 segments of the aquareovirus genome (amino acid identity 17-42%), and similar genetic organization was observed in two other segments. The conserved terminal sequences in the genomes of members of the two groups were also similar. These data are undoubtedly an indication of the common evolutionary origin of these viruses. This clear genetic relatedness between members of distinct genera is unique within the family Reoviridae. Such a genetic relationship is usually observed between members of a single genus. However, the current taxonomic classification of aquareoviruses and orthoreoviruses in two different genera is supported by a number of characteristics, including their distinct G+C contents, unequal numbers of genome segments, absence of an antigenic relationship, different cytopathic effects and specific econiches.

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