Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title



Ranaviruses belong to the viral family Iridoviridae and are globally distributed emerging pathogens in amphibians, fish, and reptiles. Outbreaks of ranaviral disease have led to population declines and even local extirpations in some species. Iridoviruses have 26 core genes that are found within all 6 species. Here we explore the utility of five different core genes from 15 unique strains of Ambystoma tigrinum virus (ATV) that have, in a previous study performed by others, been shown to have local variation. ATV was originally isolated from Sonoran tiger salamanders, and has since been isolated Abystomatid species in the southwestern USA. To perform our study, we pulled the five gene sequences for each of the 15 strains of ATV from GenBank. Each gene was aligned using a MAFTT server, and the aligned sequences were then imported into MEGA where a nucleotide best fit model was run for each set of data. The best fit model was used to build maximum likelihood phylogenetic trees for each of the 5 genes. These trees were then compared with a known tree from a previous study, the full genome trees, and a tree build using the major capsid protein (the gene most often used to recreate phylogenetic relationships in ranaviruses). Based on preliminary data from other core genes, we do not expect to find much sequence variation, and hence we should see poorly resolved trees. Therefore, this subset of the core Iridovirus genes may not be informative for phylogenetic work at small geographical scales.

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