Comparative analysis of a conserved gene block from the genome of the members of the genus ictalurivirus.
ABSTRACT Partial genome sequences were determined and subjected to comparative analyses from two fish herpesviruses (HVs). Acipenserid (Aci) HV-2, originating from the white sturgeon (Acipenser transmontanus), and ictalurid (Ic) HV-2, isolated from the black bullhead (Ameiurus melas), are recently approved species of the genus Ictalurivirus of the family Alloherpesviridae.
An almost 8,000-base-pair fragment, spanning between the genes of the DNA polymerase and the ATPase subunit of the terminase, was sequenced from each virus.
The size, position and orientation of 2 partial and 3 full open reading frames, contained in the studied genome fragment, proved to be similar to their counterparts in IcHV-1, the type species of the genus Ictalurivirus. Thus, a well-conserved genus-specific gene block was identified. In the members of two other genera (Cyprinivirus and Batrachovirus) of the family Alloherpesviridae, no such gene block could be found; the location and orientation of the homologous genes showed significant divergence.
The results of phylogenetic calculations were in good agreement with the genome arrangements inasmuch as AciHV-2, IcHV-1 and -2 are monophyletic and separated from the lineages of the other two genera. The new sequence enabled the inclusion of a hitherto unassigned HV, that of the Australian pilchard, into a phylogenetic calculation.