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Evidence that Lokern virus (family Peribunyaviridae) is a reassortant that acquired its small and large genome segments from Main Drain virus and its medium genome segment from an undiscovered virus

Evidence that Lokern virus (family Peribunyaviridae) is a reassortant that acquired its small and large genome segments from Main Drain virus and its medium genome segment from an undiscovered virus

Virology Journal 15(1): 122

Lokern virus (LOKV) is a poorly characterized arthropod-borne virus belonging to the genus Orthobunyavirus (family Peribunyaviridae). All viruses in this genus have tripartite, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genomes, and the three RNA segments are designated as small, (S), medium (M) and large (L). A 559 nt. region of the M RNA segment of LOKV has been sequenced and there are no sequence data available for its S or L RNA segments. The purpose of this study was to sequence the genome of LOKV. The genome of LOKV was fully sequenced by unbiased high-throughput sequencing, 5' and 3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and Sanger sequencing. The S and L RNA segments of LOKV consist of 952 and 6864 nt. respectively and both have 99.0% nucleotide identity with the corresponding regions of Main Drain virus (MDV). In contrast, the 4450-nt. M RNA segment has only 59.0% nucleotide identity with the corresponding region of MDV and no more than 72.7% nucleotide identity with all other M RNA segment sequences in the Genbank database. Phylogenetic data support these findings. This study provides evidence that LOKV is a natural reassortant that acquired its S and L RNA segments from MDV and its M RNA segment from an undiscovered, and possibly extinct, virus. The availability of complete genome sequence data facilitates the accurate detection, identification and diagnosis of viruses and viral infections, and this is especially true for viruses with segmented genomes because it can be difficult or even impossible to differentiate between reassortants and their precursors when incomplete sequence data are available.

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Accession: 063602026

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PMID: 30081908

DOI: 10.1186/s12985-018-1031-6

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