To determine whether selection of genome segments in coinfections is strain-specific, chicken embryo fibroblasts were coinfected with avian reovirus strain 883 and one of three other avian reovirus strains (176, S1133 and 81-5). Viral progeny from each coinfection (883 × 176, 883 × S1133 or 883 × 81-5) was serially passaged at a low m.o.i. The electropherotypes of the coinfection progeny and those of the plaque-derived clones obtained from passages 1 and 20 were analysed. Two 883 segments (M2 and S2) were found to be selected in the 883 × 176 coinfection, three 883 segments (M2, M3 and S2) in the 883 × S1133 coinfection, and only one 883 segment (M3) in the 883 × 81-5 coinfection, i.e. different 883 genome segments were selected in the three coinfections. It was, therefore, concluded that selection of genome segments in a coinfection of a given cell line is virus strain-specific. The selection of genome segments in coinfections was shown to be due to enhanced infectivity of the reassortants that were formed in the coinfections. In addition, defective interfering particles that lack the S1 segment were identified in the 883 × 81-5 coinfection progeny following serial passage. Selection of genome segment(s) in coinfections as described herein may have potential importance on the effect and production of divalent or multivalent vaccines.


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