Full-length Genome Sequences of Two SARS-like Coronaviruses in Horseshoe Bats and Genetic Variation Analysis

J Gen Virol. 2006 Nov;87(Pt 11):3355-9. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.82220-0.


Bats were recently identified as natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronavirus (SL-CoV) or SARS coronavirus-like virus. These viruses, together with SARS coronaviruses (SARS-CoV) isolated from human and palm civet, form a distinctive cluster within the group 2 coronaviruses of the genus Coronavirus, tentatively named group 2b (G2b). In this study, complete genome sequences of two additional group 2b coronaviruses (G2b-CoVs) were determined from horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (G2b-CoV Rf1) and Rhinolophus macrotis (G2b-CoV Rm1). The bat G2b-CoV isolates have an identical genome organization and share an overall genome sequence identity of 88-92 % among themselves and between them and the human/civet isolates. The most variable regions are located in the genes encoding nsp3, ORF3a, spike protein and ORF8 when bat and human/civet G2b-CoV isolates are compared. Genetic analysis demonstrated that a diverse G2b-CoV population exists in the bat habitat and has evolved from a common ancestor of SARS-CoV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • China
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Hemagglutinins, Viral / genetics
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Open Reading Frames / genetics
  • RNA Replicase / genetics
  • SARS Virus / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / virology
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viverridae / virology


  • Hemagglutinins, Viral
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • sars7a protein, SARS virus
  • spike glycoprotein, SARS-CoV
  • Nsp3 protein, SARS-CoV
  • RNA Replicase