Specific capture and whole-genome phylogeography of Dolphin morbillivirus

Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 30;10(1):20831. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77835-z.


Dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) is considered an emerging threat having caused several epidemics worldwide. Only few DMV genomes are publicly available. Here, we report the use of target enrichment directly from cetacean tissues to obtain novel DMV genome sequences, with sequence comparison and phylodynamic analysis. RNA from 15 tissue samples of cetaceans stranded along the Italian and French coasts (2008-2017) was purified and processed using custom probes (by bait hybridization) for target enrichment and sequenced on Illumina MiSeq. Data were mapped against the reference genome, and the novel sequences were aligned to the available genome sequences. The alignment was then used for phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis using MrBayes and BEAST. We herein report that target enrichment by specific capture may be a successful strategy for whole-genome sequencing of DMV directly from field samples. By this strategy, 14 complete and one partially complete genomes were obtained, with reads mapping to the virus up to 98% and coverage up to 7800X. The phylogenetic tree well discriminated the Mediterranean and the NE-Atlantic strains, circulating in the Mediterranean Sea and causing two different epidemics (2008-2015 and 2014-2017, respectively), with a limited time overlap of the two strains, sharing a common ancestor approximately in 1998.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cetacea / genetics
  • Cetacea / virology
  • Dolphins / genetics
  • Dolphins / virology*
  • France
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Italy
  • Mediterranean Sea
  • Metagenomics / methods
  • Morbillivirus / genetics*
  • Morbillivirus / pathogenicity
  • Morbillivirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Morbillivirus Infections / genetics*
  • Morbillivirus Infections / veterinary
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography / methods
  • Whole Genome Sequencing