, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 189-192

Microheterogeneity of p60 capsid protein and the encoding gene among contemporary isolates of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus

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The gene encoding the p60 capsid protein from a Spanish isolate of the rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) has been cloned and sequenced. Both cDNA and the derived protein sequences have been compared with those from several contemporary European RHDV isolates. Genetic heterogeneity among cocirculating viruses is nearly constant along the p60-encoding gene, around 0.034 substitutions per nucleotide, and it does not allow prediction of the preferential regions for long-term fixation of mutations. However, sequence comparisons with the more distant, but phylogenetically closely related calicivirus, the European brown hare syndrome virus (EBHSV), reveal a great extent of genetic variability within both a segment ofp60 gene (nucleotides 900–1300) and the encoded polypeptide, suggesting the existence of strong selective pressures acting over this region of the capsid protein.

The nucleotide sequence data reported in this paper have been submitted to the GenBank nucleotide sequence database and have been assigned the accession number L48547