GB virus C (GBV-C) evolutionary patterns revealed by analyses of reference genomes, E2 and NS5B sequences amplified from viral strains circulating in the Lisbon area (Portugal).

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Abstract

GBV-C is a non-pathogenic virus that is largely dispersed in different human populations. The phylogenetic analysis of the 5'-untranslated region (5'UTR) of the GBV-C genome has led to the segregation of viral strains into six genotypes, but incongruent results are frequently obtained depending on the genome region analyzed. In this report, different phylogenetic approaches and multivariate statistics were combined to disclose evolutionary patterns that contribute to shape GBV-C evolution. The data here presented indicate: (i) that the phylogenetic noise was mostly determined by the size of the analyzed sequence, rather than by its position on the viral genome; (ii) that most genomic segments in the coding sequence seemed to evolve under a similar evolution model, which was different from that which best fits the 5'UTR, with overall large heterogeneity of rate change across the sequence; (iii) that due to saturation of transversions occurring in the 5'UTR at genetic distances <0.10, care should be taken in drawing conclusions about the tree topologies involving the deeper branches, especially when using distance-based methods; (iv) that a non-uniform distribution of InSi and dS occurs over the viral ORF highlighting regions of the viral genome with remarkably low levels of silent substitutions, and implying that the observed differences may contribute to the detected phylogenetic incongruences; and finally (v) that genetic recombination clearly impacts the GBV-C evolution extensively, this being shown for both reference genomes and NS5B GBV-C sequences amplified from Portuguese residents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
JournalInfection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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