The sequencing of the two full FIV genomes of different lion subtypes shows the importance of whole-genome analysis in understanding complex genetic events. These findings will be relevant to big cat conservation and developing more effective animal models for HIV.
FIV is a member of the lentivirus family of retroviruses, as is HIV. The feline virus causes similar disease progression to HIV in domestic cats, and is used by researchers as an animal model for human disease.
FIV also infects a number of other cat species, many of which are endangered. The virulence and pathogenicity of the virus varies between species, but the genetic contribution to this variation is unclear. Full-length viral genome sequences are vital for scientists to understand the extent of genetic involvement yet, until recently, only six species-specific strains of FIV had been sequenced in full: Pallas cat, domestic cat (subtypes A, B and C) and puma (subtypes A and B).
Now, Jill Pecon-Slattery and Stephen J. O’Brien from the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research in Frederick, MD, USA and colleagues from the USA and Botswana have sequenced the genomes of two lion FIV subtypes in full: FIVPle subtype B, isolated from lions in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, and FIVPle subtype E, isolated from lions in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Using comparative genomics methods the team found that the two viral subtypes shared a common evolutionary history – confirming earlier research that suggested FIV has evolved in a species-specific manner.
However, the lion viruses showed substantial variation in the env gene region, which encodes the envelope glycoprotein essential for viral binding and entry. Lion virus subtype E was more closely related to domestic cat virus than to lion subtype B or Pallas cat virus. The researchers suggest this is due to recombination between strains in the wild, either involving an unidentified lion FIV strain or a strain from another African cat species.
The authors write: “The changes observed in the env gene as a consequence of recombination in FIVPle will provide important clues to the natural history of these viruses and their hosts, and may lead to insights into genetic determinants of pathogenicity and virulence differences between domestic cat and lion FIV; findings with important implications for HIV pathogenesis in humans and virus attenuation in wild populations of endangered species.”
Charlotte Webber | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences