Phylogenetic Analysis of Turkey Astroviruses Reveals Evidence of Recombination
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Sequence data was obtained from the capsid (ORF-2) and the polymerase (ORF-lb) genes of 23 turkey astrovirus (TAstV) isolates collected from commercial turkey flocks around the United States between 2003 and 2004. A high level of genetic variation was observed among the isolates, particularly in the capsid gene, where nucleotide sequence identity among them was as low as 69%. Isolates collected on the same farm, on the same day, but from different houses could have as little as 72% identity between their capsid gene sequences when compared. Phylogenetic analysis of the capsid gene revealed no clear assortment by geographic region or isolation date. The polymerase gene was more conserved with between 86 and 99% nucleotide identity and did assort in a geographic manner. Based on differing topologies of the capsid and polymerase gene phylogenetic trees, TAstV appears to undergo recombination.
KeywordsTurkey astrovirus Sequencing Phylogenetic analysis Recombination
We gratefully acknowledge our industry partners for providing the specimens that made this study possible. We also thank Diane Smith, Scott Lee, Dawn Williams-Coplin and the SAA sequencing facility for technical assistance with this work. The work was supported by USDA/ARS CRIS project #6612-32000-036.
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