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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

USING IRIDOVIRUS CORE GENES TO TEST KNOWN PHYLOGENETIC RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN AMBYSTOMA TIGRINUM VIRUS STRAINS FROM THE WESTERN USA**

Abstract

Ranaviruses are emerging infections in ectothermic vertebrates. They are known to affect over 145 species of amphibians globally and are members of the Iridoviridae. Iridoviruses have 26 core genes that are conserved between genera of the viruses. In this study we examined five of the 26 core iridovirus genes in 15 strains of Ambystoma tigrunum virus (ATV) from the western USA, which are known to have local/geographical variation in several other genes which are not in the core genes of iridoviruses. Here we examined the Hypothetical Protein-Clostridium tenani (Open Reading Frame, ORF 11L), the Immediate Early Protein ICP-4 (ORF 13L), Myristilated Membrane Protein A (ORF 51L), Myristilated Membrane Protein B (ORF 1L) and Transcription Elongation Factor TIIS (ORF 24L) as potential alternatives to non-core genes for phylogenetic reconstruction of closely related strains. Sequence data obtained from GenBank and analyzed using a MAFTT server and MEGA software, will be compared visually for homology and utility as alternate genes for discerning local adaptation in these ATV strains. Based on initial data from other core genes, we expect to find that these are too highly homologous to be informative over small geographical scales within the same genus of ranaviruses.

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