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Infect Genet Evol. 2009 Jul;9(4):541-53. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2009.02.005. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

The rhabdoviruses: biodiversity, phylogenetics, and evolution.

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National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne and Enteric Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.


Rhabdoviruses (family Rhabdoviridae) include a diversity of important pathogens of animals and plants. They share morphology and genome organization. The understanding of rhabdovirus phylogeny, ecology and evolution has progressed greatly during the last 30 years, due to enhanced surveillance and improved methodologies of molecular characterization. Along with six established genera, several phylogenetic groups at different levels were described within the Rhabdoviridae. However, comparative relationships between viral phylogeny and taxonomy remains incomplete, with multiple representatives awaiting further genetic characterization. The same is true for rhabdovirus evolution. To date, rather simplistic molecular clock models only partially describe the evolutionary dynamics of postulated viral lineages. Ongoing progress in viral evolutionary and ecological investigations will provide the platform for future studies of this diverse family.

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