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J Virol. 2006 Jun;80(12):5663-9.

Comparing phylogenetic codivergence between polyomaviruses and their hosts.

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  • 1Department of Integrative Biology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-5181, USA.


Seventy-two full genomes corresponding to nine mammalian (67 strains) and two avian (5 strains) polyomavirus species were analyzed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods of phylogenetic inference. Our fully resolved and well-supported (bootstrap proportions > 90%; posterior probabilities = 1.0) trees separate the bird polyomaviruses (avian polyomavirus and goose hemorrhagic polyomavirus) from the mammalian polyomaviruses, which supports the idea of spitting the genus into two subgenera. Such a split is also consistent with the different viral life strategies of each group. Simian (simian virus 40, simian agent 12 [Sa12], and lymphotropic polyomavirus) and rodent (hamster polyomavirus, mouse polyomavirus, and murine pneumotropic polyomavirus [MPtV]) polyomaviruses did not form monophyletic groups. Using our best hypothesis of polyomavirus evolutionary relationships and established host phylogenies, we performed a cophylogenetic reconciliation analysis of codivergence. Our analyses generated six optimal cophylogenetic scenarios of coevolution, including 12 codivergence events (P < 0.01), suggesting that Polyomaviridae coevolved with their avian and mammal hosts. As individual lineages, our analyses showed evidence of host switching in four terminal branches leading to MPtV, bovine polyomavirus, Sa12, and BK virus, suggesting a combination of vertical and horizontal transfer in the evolutionary history of the polyomaviruses.

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