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Several key evolutionary events marked the evolution of geminiviruses, culminating with the emergence of divided (bipartite) genomes represented by viruses classified in the genus Begomovirus. This genus represents the most abundant group of multipartite viruses, contributing significantly to the observed abundance of multipartite species in the virosphere. Although aspects related to virus-host interactions and evolutionary dynamics have been extensively studied, the bipartite nature of these viruses has been little explored in evolutionary studies. Here, we performed a parallel evolutionary analysis of the DNA-A and DNA-B segments of New World begomoviruses. A total of 239 full-length DNA-B sequences obtained in this study, combined with 292 DNA-A and 76 DNA-B sequences retrieved from GenBank, were analysed. The results indicate that the DNA-A and DNA-B respond differentially to evolutionary processes, with the DNA-B being more permissive to variation and more prone to recombination than the DNA-A. Although a clear geographic segregation was observed for both segments, differences in the genetic structure between DNA-A and DNA-B were also observed, with cognate segments belonging to distinct genetic clusters. DNA-B coding regions evolve under the same selection pressures than DNA-A coding regions. Together, our results indicate an interplay between reassortment and recombination acting at different levels across distinct subpopulations and segments. © 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


César A D Xavier, Márcio T Godinho, Talita B Mar, Camila G Ferro, Osvaldo F L Sande, José C Silva, Roberto Ramos-Sobrinho, Renato N Nascimento, Iraildes Assunção, Gaus S A Lima, Alison T M Lima, F Murilo Zerbini. Evolutionary dynamics of bipartite begomoviruses revealed by complete genome analysis. Molecular ecology. 2021 Aug;30(15):3747-3767

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PMID: 34021651

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