Sequence analysis of the VP6-encoding genome segment of avian group F and G rotaviruses
Rotavirus groups A to E are mainly defined by antibody reactivity to the capsid protein VP6. Additionally, two putative rotavirus groups (F and G) have been identified in birds. Here, the first nucleotide sequences of the VP6-encoding genome segment of group F (strain 03V0568) and group G (strain 03V0567) rotaviruses, both derived from chickens, are presented. The group F rotavirus is most closely related to avian group A and D rotaviruses, with 49.9-52.3% nucleotide and 36.5-39.0% amino acid sequence identity. The group G rotavirus is most closely related to mammalian group B rotaviruses, with 55.3-57.5% nucleotide and 48.2-49-9% amino acid sequence identity. The terminal sequences of the genome segment were similar in groups A, D and F, and in groups B and G. The findings indicate a long-term evolution of rotavirus groups in two separated clades and support the development of a sequence-based classification system for rotavirus groups.