Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 54, Issue 1, pp 62–70

Hepatitis C Virus Evolutionary Patterns Studied Through Analysis of Full-Genome Sequences

  • Marco  Salemi
  • Anne-Mieke  Vandamme

DOI: 10.1007/s00239-001-0018-9

Cite this article as:
Salemi, M. & Vandamme, AM. J Mol Evol (2002) 54: 62. doi:10.1007/s00239-001-0018-9


The evolutionary patterns of hepatitis C virus (HCV), including the best-fitting nucleotide substitution model and the molecular clock hypothesis, were investigated by analyzing full-genome sequences available in the HCV database. The likelihood ratio test allowed us to discriminate among different evolutionary hypotheses. The phylogeny of the six major HCV types was accurately inferred, and the final tree was rooted by reconstructing the hypothetical HCV common ancestor with the maximum likelihood method. The presence of phylogenetic noise and the relative nucleotide substitution rates in the different HCV genes were also examined. These results offer a general guideline for the future of HCV phylogenetic analysis and also provide important insights on HCV origin and evolution.

Key words: Hepatitis C virus — Evolutionary models — Star-like phylogeny — Likelihood ratio test —Γ distribution — Molecular clock 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco  Salemi
    • 1
  • Anne-Mieke  Vandamme
    • 1
  1. 1.Rega Institute for Medical Research, KULeuven, Minderbroedersstraat 10, B-3000 Leuven, BelgiumBE

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