Recombination can assort polymorphic alleles to increase diversity in the HIV-1 population. To better understand the recombination potential of subtype A HIV-1, we generated viruses containing sequences from two variants circulating in Russia and analyzed the polymerase gene (pol) of the recombinants after one round of HIV-1 replication using single-genome sequencing. We observed that recombination occurred throughout pol and could easily assort alleles containing mutations that conferred resistance to currently approved antivirals. We measured the recombination rate in various regions of pol including a G-rich region that has been previously proposed to be a recombination hot spot. Our study does not support a recombination hot spot in this G-rich region. Importantly, of the 58 proviral sequences containing crossover event(s) in pol, we found that each sequence was a unique genotype indicating that recombination is a powerful genetic mechanism in assorting the genomes of subtype A HIV-1 variants.
Keywords: HIV-1; Recombination; Subtype A.
Published by Elsevier Inc.