Genetic diversity in twenty variants of the avian polyomavirus. Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine if different pathotypes of the avian polyomavirus (APV) exist and to compare the genomes of APVs originating from different geographic areas, dates, and species of birds, the partial sequences of 18 APVs were determined. New viral sequences were compared with three published APV sequences. Two of the new viruses had identical sequences. Forty point mutations were found at 31 loci. A 27-bp deletion was found in the VP2 and VP3 open reading frames of one virus. A duplication of the putative origin of replication and adjacent enhancer region was previously reported in one APV. Smaller duplications involving the origin in one APV and a second enhancer region in another were discovered. All duplications were in tissue culture-adapted viruses, suggesting they occurred during the isolation process. Excluding duplications and the deletion, maximum variation between viruses was small (11 bp). A maximum parsimony tree was constructed that contained three major branches. The three earliest isolates were on separate branches. The European viruses were confined to branch I, but APVs from the United States were on all three branches. Lovebird, budgerigar, and macaw APVs were also on each of the three branches, suggesting that species-specific pathotypes have not developed. Most nonsynonymous mutations occurred in a small portion of the VP2 and VP3 open reading frames, demonstrating a selection for these mutations. That a glycine at VP2 221 will inhibit virus replication in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEFs) has been previously reported. In contrast, six of seven of the new APVs isolated in CEFs had a glycine at VP2 221.

published proceedings

  • Avian Dis

author list (cited authors)

  • Phalen, D. N., Wilson, V. G., Gaskin, J. M., Derr, J. N., & Graham, D. L.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Phalen, DN||Wilson, VG||Gaskin, JM||Derr, JN||Graham, DL

publication date

  • April 1999