Molecular Characterisation of a Novel and Highly Divergent Passerine Adenovirus 1

Ajani Athukorala, Jade K. Forwood, David N. Phalen, Subir Sarker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Wild birds harbour a large number of adenoviruses that remain uncharacterised with respect to their genomic organisation, diversity, and evolution within complex ecosystems. Here, we present the first complete genome sequence of an atadenovirus from a passerine bird that is tentatively named Passerine adenovirus 1 (PaAdV-1). The PaAdV-1 genome is 39,664 bp in length, which was the longest atadenovirus to be sequenced, to the best of our knowledge, and contained 42 putative genes. Its genome organisation was characteristic of the members of genus Atadenovirus; however, the novel PaAdV-1 genome was highly divergent and showed the highest sequence similarity with psittacine adenovirus-3 (55.58%). Importantly, PaAdV-1 complete genome was deemed to contain 17 predicted novel genes that were not present in any other adenoviruses sequenced to date, with several of these predicted novel genes encoding proteins that harbour transmembrane helices. Subsequent analysis of the novel PaAdV-1 genome positioned phylogenetically to a distinct sub-clade with all others sequenced atadenoviruses and did not show any obvious close evolutionary relationship. This study concluded that the PaAdV-1 complete genome described here is not closely related to any other adenovirus isolated from avian or other natural host species and that it should be considered a separate species.
Original languageEnglish
JournalViruses
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2020

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