1887

Abstract

Relationships among varicella-zoster virus (VZV; ) genome sequences were examined to evaluate descent of strains, structures of lineages and incidence of recombination events. Eighteen complete, published genome sequences were aligned and 494 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) extracted, each as two alleles. At 281 SNPs, a single sequence differed from all the others. Distributions of the remaining 213 SNPs indicated that the sequences fell into five groups, which coincided with previously recognized phylogenetic groupings, termed E1, E2, J, M1 and M2. The 213-SNP set was divisible into 104 SNPs that were specific to a single group, and 109 cross-group SNPs that defined relationships among groups. This last set was evaluated by criteria of continuities in relationships between groups and breaks in such patterns, to identify crossover points and ascribe them to lineages. For the 99 cross-group SNPs in the genome's long unique region, it was seen that the E2 and M2 groups were almost completely distinct in their SNP alleles, and the E1 group was derived from a recombinant of E2 and M2. A valid phylogenetic tree could thus be constructed for the four E2 and two M2 strains. There was no substantive evidence for recombination within the E2 group or the E1 group (ten strains). The J and M1 groups each contained only one strain, and both were interpreted as having substantial distinct histories plus possible recombinant elements from the E2 and M2 lineages. The view of VZV recombination and phylogeny reached represents a major clarification of deep relationships among VZV lineages.

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2009-04-01
2019-11-15
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Supplements

vol. , part 4, pp. 963–969

Supplementary methods, describing the production of the optimized colouring schemes for VZV UL SNPs, tables and figures are provided as a single PDF. [PDF](391 KB)



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