Poster Presentation 64th International Conference of the Wildlife Disease Association 2015

The first full length genome sequence analysis of a marsupial herpesvirus: macropodid herpesvirus 1. (#124)

Paola K Vaz 1 , Tim J Mahony 2 , Carol A Hartley 1 , James R Gilkerson 1 , Sang-Won Lee 1 , Glenn F Browning 1 , Joanne M Devlin 1
  1. Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic, Australia
  2. Centre for Animal Science, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld, Australia

BACKGROUND: Herpesviruses cause significant morbidity and mortality in a range of animal species, including those of the order Marsupialia. There is currently no published marsupial herpesvirus genome available.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this project was to perform the first comprehensive whole genome sequence analysis of a clinically important marsupial herpesvirus, macropodid herpesvirus 1 (MaHV1). This was undertaken in order to facilitate the development of improved diagnostic tools and to contribute a unique insight into the relationship between herpesviruses from evolutionarily diverse mammalian species.
METHODS: Full genome sequencing, annotation and analysis were performed in conjunction with in vitro gene expression studies that utilised reverse transcription PCRs.
RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS: The draft genome of MaHV1 was prepared and preliminary gene transcript analysis confirmed the in vitro expression of six novel genes. An absence of several conserved genes: UL3, UL4, UL56 and gJ was also observed. Interestingly, the full genome sequence results confirmed findings from earlier studies that showed MaHV1 to cluster with a number of alphaherpesviruses from primate hosts.