Bats and rodents shape mammalian retroviral phylogeny

Jie Cui, Gilda Tachedjian, Lin-Fa Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) represent past retroviral infections and accordingly can provide an ideal framework to infer virus-host interaction over their evolutionary history. In this study, we target high quality Pol sequences from 7,994 Class I and 8,119 Class II ERVs from 69 mammalian genomes and surprisingly find that retroviruses harbored by bats and rodents combined occupy the major phylogenetic diversity of both classes. By analyzing transmission patterns of 30 well-defined ERV clades, we corroborate the previously published observation that rodents are more competent as originators of mammalian retroviruses and reveal that bats are more capable of receiving retroviruses from non-bat mammalian origins. The powerful retroviral hosting ability of bats is further supported by a detailed analysis revealing that the novel bat gammaretrovirus, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum retrovirus, likely originated from tree shrews. Taken together, this study advances our understanding of host-shaped mammalian retroviral evolution in general.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16561
Number of pages7
JournalScientific Reports
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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