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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

SYNTENY AND PHYLOGENETIC SIGNAL ANALYSIS OF 19 DIFFERENT STRAINS ENCOMPASSING SIX SPECIES OF RANAVIRUS**

Abstract

Ranaviruses are globally emerging pathogens of amphibians, reptiles and fish. There are currently 6 different species of ranavirus that have been identified. Here, we examine the synteny profiles of 19 different strains of ranavirus, encompassing representatives from each species, using R (all gene sequences were obtained from GenBank). Using Decipher’s FindSynteny function, we noted the homologous regions of the 19 strains, then the AlignSynteny function was used to align these pairwise comparisons. This also ordered the hits into blocks based on their ordinal position sequence. From this a synteny map was created using R. From the synteny map, we note that Singapore Grouper Iridovirus (SGIV) is the most divergent Ranavirus and may be worthy of species status. In other studies, SGIV is also known to be divergent from most other ranaviruses. Within each species of ranavirus, the genomes are collinear. Additionally, using a known tree based on the full genomes of the 19 different strains of ranavirus, we plan to determine the phylogenetic signal of each of the 26 iridovirus core genes. To do this we will use various R packages that have been developed for morphological traits and adapt them to use for molecular data. We expect that these core genes will have relatively low phylogenetic signal because they are conserved genes.

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