The genome segments of a group D rotavirus possess group A-like conserved termini but encode group-specific proteins
Rotaviruses are a leading cause of viral acute gastroenteritis in humans and animals. They are grouped according to gene composition and antigenicity of VP6. Whereas group A, B, and C rotaviruses are found in humans and animals, group D rotaviruses have been exclusively detected in birds. Despite their broad distribution among chickens, no nucleotide sequence data exist so far. Here, the first complete genome sequence of a group D rotavirus (strain 05V0049) is presented, which was amplified using sequence-independent amplification strategies and degenerate primers. Open reading frames encoding homologues of rotavirus proteins VP1 to VP4, VP6, VP7, and NSP1 to NSP5 were identified. Amino acid sequence identities between the group D rotavirus and the group A, B, and C rotaviruses varied between 12.3% and 51.7%, 11.0% and 23.1%, and 9.5% and 46.9%, respectively. Segment 10 of the group D rotavirus has an additional open reading frame. Generally, phylogenetic analysis indicated a common evolution of group A, C, and D rotaviruses, separate from that of group B. However, the NSP4 sequence of group C has only very low identities in comparison with cogent sequences of all other groups. The avian group A NSP1 sequences are more closely related to those of group D than those of mammalian group A rotaviruses. Most interestingly, the nucleotide sequences at the termini of the 11 genome segments are identical between group D and group A rotaviruses. Further investigations should clarify whether these conserved structures allow an exchange of genome segments between group A and group D rotaviruses
Trojnar, E. / Otto, Peter / Roth, B. / et al: The genome segments of a group D rotavirus possess group A-like conserved termini but encode group-specific proteins. 2010.
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