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Virus Res. 2008 Aug;135(2):237-46. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2008.03.020. Epub 2008 May 12.

Complete genomic sequence of turkey coronavirus.

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Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada.


Turkey coronavirus (TCoV), one of the least characterized of all known coronaviruses, was isolated from an outbreak of acute enteritis in young turkeys in Ontario, Canada, and the full-length genomic sequence was determined. The full-length genome was 27,632 nucleotides plus the 3' poly(A) tail. Two open reading frames, ORFs 1a and 1b, resided in the first two thirds of the genome, and nine additional downstream ORFs were identified. A gene for hemagglutinin-esterase was absent in TCoV. The region between the membrane (M) and nucleocapsid (N) protein genes contained three potential small ORFs: ORF-X, a previously uncharacterized ORF with an associated putative TRS within the M gene (apparently shared among all group III coronaviruses), and previously described ORFs 5a and 5b. The TCoV genome is organized as follows: 5' UTR--replicase (ORFs 1a, 1b)--spike (S) protein--ORF3 (ORFs 3a, 3b)--small envelop (E or 3c) protein--membrane (M) protein--ORF5 (ORFs X, 5a, 5b)--nucleocapsid (N) protein--3' UTR--poly(A). TCoV genome structure and sequence was most similar, but distinct from, avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV). This is the first complete genome sequence for a TCoV and confirms that TCoV belongs to group III coronaviruses.

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