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Reference: Aiewsakun, P and Katzourakis, A, (2017). Marine origin of retroviruses in the early Palaeozoic Era. Nature Communications, 8, Article: 13954.Citable link to this page:


Marine origin of retroviruses in the early Palaeozoic Era

Abstract: Very little is known about the ancient origin of retroviruses, but owing to the discovery of their ancient endogenous viral counterparts, their early history is beginning to unfold. Here we report 36 lineages of basal amphibian and fish foamy-like endogenous retroviruses (FLERVs). Phylogenetic analyses reveal that ray-finned fish FLERVs exhibit an overall co-speciation pattern with their hosts, while amphibian FLERVs might not. We also observe several possible ancient viral cross-class transmissions, involving lobe-finned fish, shark and frog FLERVs. Sequence examination and analyses reveal two major lineages of ray-finned fish FLERVs, one of which had gained two novel accessory genes within their extraordinarily large genomes. Our phylogenetic analyses suggest that this major retroviral lineage, and therefore retroviruses as a whole, have an ancient marine origin and originated together with, if not before, their jawed vertebrate hosts >450 million years ago in the Ordovician period, early Palaeozoic Era.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's versionDate of acceptance:16 November 2016Notes:Copyright © 2017 the Authors. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group

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Journal: Nature Communicationssee more from them

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Volume: 8

Extent: Article: 13954

Issue Date: 10 January 2017

pages:Article: 13954Identifiers


Uuid: uuid:5bf0a50a-5d6c-4fbc-a76b-1b6ca28d09fc

Urn: uri:5bf0a50a-5d6c-4fbc-a76b-1b6ca28d09fc

Pubs-id: pubs:668326

Issn: 1041-1723 Item Description

Type: journal-article;

Version: Publisher's version


Autor: Aiewsakun, P - Oxford, MPLS, Zoology fundingRoyal Thai Government - - - Katzourakis, A - Oxford, MPLS, Zoology St Hildas College



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