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Arch Virol. 2007;152(3):519-31. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Genomic analysis of Oryctes rhinoceros virus reveals genetic relatedness to Heliothis zea virus 1.

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Laboratory for Biotechnological Crop Protection, Department of Phytopathology, Agricultural Service Centre Palatinate (DLR Rheinpfalz), Neustadt an der Weinstrasse, Germany.


Oryctes rhinoceros virus (OrV) is an unassigned invertebrate dsDNA virus with enveloped and rod-shaped virions. Two cloned PstI fragments, C and D, of OrV DNA have been sequenced, consisting of 19,805 and 17,146 bp, respectively, and comprising about 30% of the OrV genome. For each of the two fragments, 20 open reading frames (ORFs) of 150 nucleotides or greater with no or minimal overlap were predicted. Ten of the predicted 40 ORFs revealed significant similarities to Heliothis zea virus 1 (HzV-1) ORFs, of which five, lef-4, lef-5, pif-2, dnapol and ac81, are homologues of conserved core genes in the family Baculoviridae, and one is homologous to baculovirus rr1. A baculovirus odv-e66 homologue is also present in OrV. Five ORFs encode proteins homologous to cellular thymidylate synthase (TS), patatin-like phospholipase, mitochondrial carrier protein, Ser/Thr protein phosphatase, and serine protease, respectively. TS is phylogenetically related to those of eukarya and nucleo-cytoplasmic large dsDNA viruses. However, the remaining 25 ORFs have poor or no sequence matches with the current databases. Both the gene content of the sequenced fragments and the phylogenetic analyses of the viral DNA polymerase suggest that OrV is most closely related to HzV-1. These findings and the re-evaluation of the relationship of HzV-1 to baculoviruses suggest that a new virus genus, Nudivirus, should be established, containing OrV and HzV-1, which are genetically related to members of the family Baculoviridae.

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