Document Detail

Experimental evolution of RNA versus DNA viruses.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21967437     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Based on their extremely high mutation rates, RNA viruses have been traditionally considered as the fastest evolving entities in nature. However, recent work has revealed that, despite their greater replication fidelity, single-stranded (ss) DNA viruses can evolve fast in a similar way. To further investigate this issue, we have compared the rates of adaptation and molecular evolution of ssRNA and ssDNA viruses under highly controlled laboratory conditions using the bacteriophages ΦX174, G4, f1, Qβ, SP, and MS2 as model systems. Our results indicate that ssRNA phages evolve faster than ssDNA phages under strong selective pressure, and that their extremely high mutation rates appear to be optimal for this kind of scenario. However, their performance becomes similar to that of ssDNA phages over the longer term or when the population is moderately well-adapted. Interestingly, the roughly 100-fold difference between the mutation rates of ssRNA and ssDNA phages yields less than a fivefold difference in adaptation and nucleotide substitution rates. The results are therefore consistent with the observation that, despite their lower mutation rates, ssDNA viruses can sometimes match the evolvability of RNA viruses.
Pilar Domingo-Calap; Rafael Sanjuán
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2011-05-25
Journal Detail:
Title:  Evolution; international journal of organic evolution     Volume:  65     ISSN:  1558-5646     ISO Abbreviation:  Evolution     Publication Date:  2011 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-10-04     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0373224     Medline TA:  Evolution     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  2987-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
© 2011 The Author(s). Evolution© 2011 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Universitat de València, Spain Departament de Genètica, Universitat de València, Spain Unidad Mixta de Investigación en Genómica y Salud, Centro Superior de Investigación en Salud Pública (CSISP), Valencia, Spain E-mail:
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