Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 143498, 11 pages
Research Article

Computational Analysis Suggests That Lyssavirus Glycoprotein Gene Plays a Minor Role in Viral Adaptation

1BCFB, DSR, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
2Rabies, PRB, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

Received 15 October 2010; Revised 15 December 2010; Accepted 3 January 2011

Academic Editor: Hiromi Nishida

Copyright © 2011 Kevin Tang and Xianfu Wu. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The Lyssavirus glycoprotein (G) is a membrane protein responsible for virus entry and protective immune responses. To explore possible roles of the glycoprotein in host shift or adaptation of Lyssavirus, we retrieved 53 full-length glycoprotein gene sequences from NCBI GenBank. The sequences were from different host isolates over a period of 70 years in 21 countries. Computational analyses detected 1 recombinant (AY987478, a dog isolate of CHAND03, genotype 1 in India) with incongruent phylogenetic support. No recombination was detected when AY98748 was excluded in the analyses. We applied different selection models to identify selection pressure on the glycoprotein gene. One codon at amino acid residual 483 was found to be under weak positive selection with marginal probability of 95% by using the maximum likelihood method. We found no significant evidence of positive selection on any site of the glycoprotein gene when the putative recombinant AY987478 was excluded. The computational analyses suggest that the G gene has been under purifying selection and that the evolution of the G gene may not play a significant role in Lyssavirus adaptation.