The Goose Reovirus Genome Segment Encoding the Minor Outer Capsid Protein, σ1/σC, is Bicistronic and Shares Structural Similarities with its Counterpart in Muscovy Duck Reovirus
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Reoviruses have recently been shown to be associated with disease in young geese and to be involved in epizooties of severe outcome in Hungary. To assess the genetic variability among these pathogenic goose reoviruses (GRVs), we sequenced the S4 genome segment of five GRV strains isolated from different diseased flocks. We found that the GRV S4 genome segment, consisting of two partially overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), shares substantial structural similarity with its counterpart in muscovy duck reoviruses (DRVs). ORF1 is predicted to encode a polypeptide highly similar to the p10 polypeptide of DRV, and ORF2 supposedly encodes the minor outer capsid protein, σ1/σC. In one of the five GRV strains examined, we identified a single uracil base insertion close to the middle of ORF2. This insertion resulted in a frameshift and in concomitant acquisition of a termination codon (UAA) a few codons downstream, apparently causing truncation of the C-terminal part of the protein. The functional consequences of this assumed mutation, which would result in loss of more than a half of the protein, have yet to be determined. Nonetheless, the sequence and structural similarities between the genome segment encoding σl/σC in GRVs and DRVs suggest that these viruses belong to a species distinct from other established species within subgroup 2 of orthoreoviruses.
Keywordsgoose S4 genome segment polycistronic reovirus sequence analysis
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