Most current classifications of viruses are based on single gene analysis of capsid protein or polymerase. The comparison of entire genomes is a more balanced approach that should provide a more complete picture of relatedness. We have used a singular value decomposition (SVD)-based analysis to generate phylogenetic trees using whole genome protein sequences from a family of single-stranded RNA plant viruses. Our dataset includes the 26 species of the family Tombusviridae , 25 of which have complete genome sequences cataloged in GenBank. The resulting phylogenetic tree agrees well with current taxonomic classifications, but with significant exceptions. One previously unassigned virus within this family, Maize necrotic streak virus , is definitively placed within the genus Tombusvirus by this analysis. In addition, the analysis defines two distinct subsets within the genus Necrovirus . Future datasets will be expanded to include other icosahedral positive strand RNA plant viruses, and then perhaps all positive strand RNA plant viruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2004
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