Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.296, No.5, 1118-1124, 2002
Phylogeny of New World arenaviruses based on the complete coding sequences of the small genomic segment identified an evolutionary lineage produced by intrasegmental recombination
Previous studies suggested that the small genomic segments (S-RNA) of the South American arenaviruses (SA-AVs) represent three phylogenetic lineages (designated A, B, and C) and indicated that the S-RNA of Whitewater Arroyo virus (WWAV) (a North American arenavirus [NA-AV]) is a product of genetic recombination between a lineage A and lineage B virus. The purpose of this study was to extend our knowledge on the phylogenetic relationships between WWAV, the two other NA-AVs (Tamiami and bear canyon), and the 15 SA-AVs. Therefore, we determined the complete sequence of the S-RNA of nine arenaviruses previously uncharacterized or sequenced only partially. Phylogenetic analyses of the two complete coding regions indicated that the S-RNA of the three NA-AVs have descended from a single ancestral virus, which was the product of recombination between a lineage A and lineage B arenavirus. No such evidence for genetic recombination was found in cupixi virus (a novel arenavirus isolated from a wild rodent captured in Northeastern Brazil) or the 14 other SA-AVs. The recombinant nature of the S-RNA of NA-AVs distinguishes them from the SA-AVs, and thus, indicates that the NA-AVs represent a fourth phylogenetic lineage in the Tacaribe serocomplex. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.