Evolutionary relationships among large double-stranded DNA viruses that infect microalgae and other organisms as inferred from DNA polymerase genes

Virology. 1996 May 1;219(1):170-8. doi: 10.1006/viro.1996.0234.


In order to examine genetic relatedness among viruses that infect microalgae, DNA polymerase gene (DNA pol) fragments were amplified and sequenced from 13 virus clones that infect three genera of distantly related microalgae (Chlorella strains NC64A and Pbi, Micromonas pusilla and Chrysochromulina spp.). Phylogenetic trees based on DNA pol sequences and hybridization of total genomic DNA showed similar branching patterns. Genetic relatedness calculated from the hybridization and sequence data showed good concordance (r=0.90), indicating that DNA pol sequences can be used to determine genetic relatedness and infer phylogenetic relationships among these viruses. The phylogenetic tree inferred from the deduced amino acid sequences of DNA pol from 24 dsDNA viruses, including phycodnaviruses, herpesviruses, poxviruses, baculoviruses, and African swine fever virus corresponded well with groupings based on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. Microalgal viruses are more closely related to each other than to the other dsDNA viruses and form a distinct phyletic group, suggesting that they share a common ancestor and belong to the Phycodnaviridae. Moreover, the Phycodnaviridae are more closely related to the Herpesviridae than to other virus families for which DNA pol sequences are available.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Evolution*
  • DNA Viruses / classification
  • DNA Viruses / enzymology*
  • DNA Viruses / genetics
  • DNA, Viral*
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / classification
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phycodnaviridae / classification
  • Phycodnaviridae / enzymology*
  • Phycodnaviridae / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • DNA, Viral
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U32975
  • GENBANK/U32976
  • GENBANK/U32977
  • GENBANK/U32978
  • GENBANK/U32979
  • GENBANK/U32980
  • GENBANK/U32981
  • GENBANK/U32982
  • GENBANK/U32983
  • GENBANK/U32984
  • GENBANK/U32985