To investigate the genetic relationships between field strains of iridoviruses gathered from various fish species in Taiwan, viruses that were collected from 2001 to 2009 were analyzed. Open reading frames encoding the viral major capsid protein (MCP) and adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) were sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. Our results indicated that iridoviruses from Taiwan aquaculture fishes could be classified into two groups: prior to 2005, the viruses were closely related to members of the genus Ranavirus ; and after 2005, they were similar to members of the genus Megalocytivirus. Based on the analysis of MCP amino acid sequences, virus isolates were divided into 4 major genotypes that were related to ISKNV, RSIV, FLIV, and GIV, respectively. Pairwise comparisons of MCP genes showed that the ranavirus was an epidemic pathogen for economically important species in the major production regions and cultured marine fish, while the megalocytivirus isolates were sensitive to host range. In addition, the distribution of synonymous and non-synonymous changes in the MCP gene revealed that the iridoviruses were evolving slowly, and most of the variations were synonymous mutations. The Ka / Ks values were lower than one, and hence, the viruses were under negative selection.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2011
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