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Re-Assembly and Analysis of an Ancient Variola Virus Genome.

Re-Assembly and Analysis of an Ancient Variola Virus Genome.
Author Information (click to view)

Smithson C, Imbery J, Upton C,


Smithson C, Imbery J, Upton C, (click to view)

Smithson C, Imbery J, Upton C,

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Viruses 2017 09 089(9) pii E253
Abstract

We report a major improvement to the assembly of published short read sequencing data from an ancient variola virus (VARV) genome by the removal of contig-capping sequencing tags and manual searches for gap-spanning reads. The new assembly, together with camelpox and taterapox genomes, permitted new dates to be calculated for the last common ancestor of all VARV genomes. The analysis of recently sequenced VARV-like cowpox virus genomes showed that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and amino acid changes in the vaccinia virus (VACV)-Cop-O1L ortholog, predicted to be associated with VARV host specificity and virulence, were introduced into the lineage before the divergence of these viruses. A comparison of the ancient and modern VARV genome sequences also revealed a measurable drift towards adenine + thymine (A + T) richness.

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