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Sci China Life Sci. 2013 May;56(5):414-20. doi: 10.1007/s11427-013-4479-z. Epub 2013 May 1.

Different quasispecies with great mutations hide in the same subgroup J field strain of avian leukosis virus.

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College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100094, China.


Blood samples were collected from a local strain of chickens associated with serious tumor cases in Shandong Province. The samples were inoculated into chicken embryo fibroblast and DF-1 cells for virus isolation and identification, respectively. The inoculated cells were screened for three common chicken tumor viruses. Nine strains of avian leukosis virus subgroup J (ALV-J) were identified, and were designated LY1201-LY1209. The env gene from the LY1201 strain was amplified and cloned. All nine resultant env clones (clones 01-09) were sequenced, and the gp85 and gp37 amino acid regions were subjected to homology analysis. Clones 01 and 03 had 10 amino acid deletions in the gp85 region compared to the other seven clones, suggesting that at least two quasispecies with obvious mutations coexist in the same field strain. Among these nine clones, three had identical gp85 and gp37 sequences, and were recognized as the dominant LY1201 quasispecies. The amino acid sequence homology of gp37 and gp85 among the nine clones was 98.5%-100.0% and 96.6%-100.0% respectively, suggesting that the gp85 region of the env gene can better display the quasispecies diversity of ALV-J than gp37.

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