Extensive retroviral diversity in shark

paper8Published on 28. April 2015

Extensive retroviral diversity in shark

Guan-Zhu Han


Background Retroviruses infect a wide range of vertebrates. However, little is known about the diversity of retroviruses in basal vertebrates. Endogenous retrovirus (ERV) provides a valuable resource to study the ecology and evolution of retrovirus. Findings I performed a genome-scale screening for ERVs in the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii) and identified three complete or nearly complete ERVs and many short ERV fragments. I designate these retroviral elements “C. milli ERVs” (CmiERVs). Phylogenetic analysis shows that the CmiERVs form three distinct lineages. The genome invasions by these retroviruses are estimated to take place more than 50 million years ago. Conclusions My results reveal the extensive retroviral diversity in the elephant shark. Diverse retroviruses appear to have been associated with cartilaginous fishes for millions of years. These findings have important implications in understanding the diversity and evolution of retroviruses.

Retrovirology 2015, 12:34 doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0158-4



Leave a Reply