Avian astroviruses (aAstVs) are divided into three species, Avastrovirus 1, Avastrovirus 2, and Avastrovirus 3, but there are a few strains are waiting to be assigned to an official taxonomic group. This study presents the molecular characterization of chicken astrovirus (CAstV), PL/G059/2014, which is involved in the induction of “white chicks” condition. The 7382-nucleotide-long genome sequence was determined by next-generation sequencing using an Illumina MiSeq System. Phylogenetic analysis showed that it has the characteristics that are typical of avian astroviruses. However, overall degree of nucleotide sequence identity was 43.6 % to 73.7 % between PL/G059/2014 and other available genome sequences of aAstV strains. The amino acid sequences of the proteins encoded by ORF1a and ORF1b of the studied strain were very similar (86.5-93.8 % identity) to those of CAstVs 4175 and GA2011, but they were only 32.7-35.2 % identical in the case of ORF2, which is used officially for astrovirus species demarcation. These features could suggest that the PL/G059/2014 strain should be assigned to a new species in the genus Avastrovirus. Moreover, the different phylogenetic topology of PL/G059/2014 and its nucleotide sequence similarity in different genomic regions could suggest that a recombination event occurred during its evolution and that it has ancestors in common with duck astroviruses.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 23, 2016
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