Analysis of the complete genome sequence and capsid region of black queen cell viruses from infected honeybees (Apis mellifera) in Korea
Black queen cell virus (BQCV) infection is one of the most common viral infections in honeybees (Apis mellifera). A phylogenetic tree was constructed for 19 partial nucleotide sequences for the capsid region of South Korean BQCV, which were also compared with 10 previously reported BQCV sequences derived from different countries. The Korean BQCV genomes were highly conserved and showed 97–100 % identity. They also showed 92–99 % similarity with other country genotypes and showed no significant clustering in the phylogenetic tree. In order to investigate this phenomenon in more detail, the complete genome sequence of the Korean BQCV strain was determined and aligned with those from a South African reference strain and European genotypes, Poland4–6 and Hungary10. A phylogenetic tree was then constructed. The Korean BQCV strain showed a high level of similarity (92 %) with Hungary10, but low similarity (86 %) with the South African reference genotype. Comparison of the Korean and other sequences across different genome regions revealed that the 5′-UTR, the intergenic region, and the capsid regions of the BQCV genome were highly conserved. ORF1 (a non-structural protein coding region) was more variable than ORF2 (a structural protein coding region). The 5′-proximal third of ORF1 was particularly variable and contained several insertions/deletions. This phenomenon may be explained by intra-molecular recombination between the Korean and other BQCV genotypes; this appeared to have happened more with the South African reference strain than with the European genotypes.
KeywordsApis mellifera Honeybee Black queen cell virus RT-PCR Phylogenetic analysis
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