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Assessing host-virus codivergence for close relatives of Merkel cell polyomavirus infecting African great apes

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

It has long been hypothesized that polyomaviruses (PyV; family Polyomaviridae) codiverged with their animal hosts. In contrast, recent analyses suggested that codivergence may only marginally influence the evolution of PyV. We reassess this question by focusing on a single lineage of PyV infecting hominine hosts, the Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) lineage. By characterizing the genetic diversity of these viruses in seven African great ape taxa, we show that they exhibit very strong host specificity. Reconciliation analyses identify more codivergence than noncodivergence events. In addition, we find that a number of host and PyV divergence events are synchronous. Collectively, our results support codivergence as the dominant process at play during the evolution of the MCPyV lineage. More generally, our results add to the growing body of evidence suggesting an ancient and stable association of PyV and their animal hosts. © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Tijdschrift: Journal of General Virology (The)
ISSN: 0022-1317
Issue: 19
Volume: 90
Pagina's: 8531-8541
Aantal pagina's: 11
Jaar van publicatie:2016