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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

SELECT CORE GENES OF RANAVIRUS SUGGEST NEW MODELS FOR FUTURE PHYLOGENETIC STUDIES**

Abstract

Ranavirus is a genus of double-stranded DNA viruses in the family Iridiovirdae. Ranaviruses can affect a multitude of ectothermic vertebrates including fish, amphibians and reptiles. Infection can cause cutaneous and systemic hemorrhaging, organ failure, and result in mortality events for certain economic and ecologically significant species. Because of its detrimental effect of host species, it is imperative to examine ranaviral evolution in order to develop containment strategies and regulations. Our study aims to find an applicable gene for phylogenetic studies by using candidates from the 26 Ranavirus core genes. From these, ribonuclease reductase small subunit, ribonuclease III, the proliferating nuclear cell antigen, and deoxynucleoside kinase were chosen for analysis due to their high conservation across Ranavirus species and strains. Preliminary studies using other genes and full genomes suggest appropriate phylogenetic models that parallel the viral evolution seen within the full genomes of 20 Ranavirus isolates.

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