Complete genome sequence of bat coronavirus HKU2 from Chinese horseshoe bats revealed a much smaller spike gene with a different evolutionary lineage from the rest of the genome

Virology. 2007 Oct 25;367(2):428-39. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2007.06.009. Epub 2007 Jul 6.


Apart from bat-SARS-CoV, we have identified a novel group 1 coronavirus, bat-CoV HKU2, in Rhinolophus sinicus (Chinese horseshoe bats). Since it has been suggested that the receptor-binding motif (RBM) of SARS-CoV may have been acquired from a group 1 coronavirus, we conducted a surveillance study and identified bat-SARS-CoV and bat-CoV HKU2 in 8.7% and 7.5% respectively of R. sinicus in Hong Kong and Guangdong. Complete genome sequencing of four strains of bat-CoV HKU2 revealed the smallest coronavirus genome (27164 nucleotides) and a unique spike protein evolutionarily distinct from the rest of the genome. This spike protein, sharing similar deletions with other group 2 coronaviruses in its C-terminus, also contained a 15-amino acid peptide homologous to a corresponding peptide within the RBM of spike protein of SARS-CoV, which was absent in other coronaviruses except bat-SARS-CoV. These suggest a common evolutionary origin in the spike protein of bat-CoV HKU2, bat-SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chiroptera / virology*
  • Coronaviridae / classification
  • Coronaviridae / genetics*
  • Coronaviridae / isolation & purification
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Hong Kong
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / chemistry*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / genetics


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EF203064
  • GENBANK/EF203065
  • GENBANK/EF203066
  • GENBANK/EF203067