Ranaviruses are globally emerging pathogens affecting ectothermic vertebrates. They have been credited as being a major cause of decline and local extinctions of some amphibian species. Using phylogenetic analysis, we can better understand relationships between individual viral isolates or strains. This can reveal important information about patterns of virus emergence. There are 26 core genes conserved across iridoviruses, the family to which Ranavirus belong. Analyzing these genes may reveal a better way to determine the phylogenetic relationships between the isolates than the traditionally used major capsid protein gene. Of the 26 genes, we specifically looked at four for this project: 1)open reading frame (ORF) 1R in Frog virus 3 (FV3), the Putative Replication Factor and/or important for DNA Binding/Packing; 2)ORF 8R in FV3, involved in the DNA-Dep DNA Polymerase II Large Subunit; 3) ORF 9L in FV3, involved in the Putative NTPase I; and 4) ORF 15R in FV3, important in the ATPase-like Protein. Sequences from 19 different ranavirus isolates for these genes were acquired from GenBank, and then aligned in MAFFT (Multiple Alignment using Fast Fourier Transform). The aligned sequences were then inserted into MEGA6 to create phylogenetic trees using several different methods. The trees will then be compared to the major capsid protein gene tree to see if any may be useful for phylogenetic reconstruction.

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