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Viruses 2015, 7(4), 2126-2146; doi:10.3390/v7042126

Genome Variability and Gene Content in Chordopoxviruses: Dependence on Microsatellites

Department of Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, BBRB 276/11, 845 19th St S, Birmingham, AL 35222, USA
Stanford Genome Technology Center, Stanford University, 855 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric O. Freed
Received: 27 February 2015 / Revised: 24 March 2015 / Accepted: 17 April 2015 / Published: 22 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Poxvirus Evolution)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1727 KB, uploaded 12 May 2015]   |  


To investigate gene loss in poxviruses belonging to the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily, we assessed the gene content of representative members of the subfamily, and determined whether individual genes present in each genome were intact, truncated, or fragmented. When nonintact genes were identified, the early stop mutations (ESMs) leading to gene truncation or fragmentation were analyzed. Of all the ESMs present in these poxvirus genomes, over 65% co-localized with microsatellites—simple sequence nucleotide repeats. On average, microsatellites comprise 24% of the nucleotide sequence of these poxvirus genomes. These simple repeats have been shown to exhibit high rates of variation, and represent a target for poxvirus protein variation, gene truncation, and reductive evolution. View Full-Text
Keywords: poxviruses; genomic evolution; genome variability; early stop mutations; microsatellites poxviruses; genomic evolution; genome variability; early stop mutations; microsatellites

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hatcher, E.L.; Wang, C.; Lefkowitz, E.J. Genome Variability and Gene Content in Chordopoxviruses: Dependence on Microsatellites. Viruses 2015, 7, 2126-2146.

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