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Arch Virol. 1998;143(10):1949-66.

Sequence comparison of the major capsid protein gene from 18 diverse iridoviruses.

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Microbiology Department, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.


Insect iridoviruses (IV) have been found on all continents of the world and in a broad range of insect hosts. The host range for a single strain can cross several insect orders. This along with a paucity of molecular information on all but a few members has led to confusion in the taxonomy and classification of these viruses and in the identification of potentially novel isolates. To address this problem consensus PCR primers were designed to amplify and sequence a 500 bp region of the major capsid protein (MCP) gene. PCR products were amplified from eighteen IVs belonging to the genus Iridovirus. No product was observed for the chloriridovirus IV3. Phylogenetic analysis of the partial MCP gene sequence showed that the iridovirus genus can be divided into three groups. These results support previous studies where a range of molecular techniques were used. Group I contained PjIV and IV31, group II contained IV6 (CIV), IV21, and IV28, and group III contained IV1 (TIV), IV2 (SIV), IV9 (WIV), IV10, IV16, (CzIV), IV18, IV22, IV23 (BbIV), IV24, IV29, IV30, AgIV and an undescribed weevil IV. There was no correlation of relatedness with host of isolation but there was some correlation with geographic region of isolation. Sequence analysis also raised issues concerning the purity of some virus stocks and supported the view that some isolates should be considered as variants of one virus species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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