Relative abundance and molecular evolution of Lake Sinai Virus (Sinaivirus) clades

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Abstract

Lake Sinai Viruses (Sinaivirus) are commonly detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) but no disease phenotypes or fitness consequences have yet been demonstrated. This viral group is genetically diverse, lacks obvious geographic structure, and multiple lineages can co-infect individual bees. While phylogenetic analyses have been performed, the molecular evolution of LSV has not been studied extensively. Here, I use LSV isolates from GenBank as well as contigs assembled from honey bee Sequence Read Archive (SRA) accessions to better understand the evolutionary history of these viruses. For each ORF, substitution rate variation, codon usage, and tests of positive selection were evaluated. Outlier regions of high or low diversity were sought with sliding window analysis and the role of recombination in creating LSV diversity was explored. Phylogenetic analysis consistently identified two large clusters of sequences that correspond to the current LSV1 and LSV2 nomenclature, however lineages sister to LSV1 were the most frequently detected in honey bee SRA accessions. Different expression levels among ORFs suggested the occurrence of subgenomic transcripts. ORF1 and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase had higher evolutionary rates than the capsid and ORF4. A hypervariable region of the ORF1 protein-coding sequence was identified that had reduced selective constraint, but a site-based model of positive selection was not significantly more likely than a neutral model for any ORF. The only significant recombination signals detected between LSV1 and LSV2 initiated within this hypervariable region, but assumptions of the test (single-frame coding and independence of substitution rate by site) were violated. LSV codon usage differed strikingly from that of honey bees and other common honey-bee viruses, suggesting LSV is not strongly co-evolved with that host. LSV codon usage was significantly correlated with that of Varroa destructor, however, despite the relatively weak codon bias exhibited by the latter. While codon usage between the LSV1 and LSV2 clusters was similar for three ORFs, ORF4 codon usage was uncorrelated between these clades, implying rapid divergence of codon use for this ORF only. Phylogenetic placement and relative abundance of LSV isolates reconstructed from SRA accessions suggest that detection biases may be over-representing LSV1 and LSV2 in public databases relative to their sister lineages.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Relative abundance and molecular evolution of Lake Sinai Virus (Sinaivirus) clades
Series title PeerJ
DOI 10.7717/peerj.6305
Volume 7
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher PeerJ
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description e6305; 19 p.