Infectious bronchitis viruses (IBVs) are group III coronaviruses that infect poultry worldwide. Genetic variations, including whole-gene deletions, are key to IBV evolution. Australian subgroup 2 IBVs contain sequence insertions and multiple gene deletions that have resulted in a substantial genomic divergence from international IBVs. The genomic variations present in Australian IBVs were investigated and compared to those of another group III coronavirus, turkey coronavirus (TCoV). Open reading frames (ORFs) found throughout the genome of Australian IBVs were analogous in sequence and position to TCoV ORFs, except for ORF 4b, which appeared to be translocated to a different position in the subgroup 2 strains. Subgroup 2 strains were previously reported to lack genes 3a, 3b and 5a, with some also lacking 5b. Of these, however, genes 3b and 5b were found to be present but contained various mutations that may affect transcription. In this study, it was found that subgroup 2 IBVs have undergone a more substantial genomic rearrangements than previously thought.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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