Recombination Analysis of Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Reveals a Bias toward GC Content and the Inverted Repeat Regions.

PubMed ID: 25926637

Author(s): Lee K, Kolb AW, Sverchkov Y, Cuellar JA, Craven M, Brandt CR. Recombination analysis of Herpes simplex virus 1 reveals a bias toward GC content and the inverted repeat regions. J Virol. 2015 Jul;89(14):7214-23. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00880-15. Epub 2015 Apr 29. PMID 25926637

Journal: Journal Of Virology, Volume 89, Issue 14, Jul 2015

UNLABELLED Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) causes recurrent mucocutaneous ulcers and is the leading cause of infectious blindness and sporadic encephalitis in the United States. HSV-1 has been shown to be highly recombinogenic; however, to date, there has been no genome-wide analysis of recombination. To address this, we generated 40 HSV-1 recombinants derived from two parental strains, OD4 and CJ994. The 40 OD4-CJ994 HSV-1 recombinants were sequenced using the Illumina sequencing system, and recombination breakpoints were determined for each of the recombinants using the Bootscan program. Breakpoints occurring in the terminal inverted repeats were excluded from analysis to prevent double counting, resulting in a total of 272 breakpoints in the data set. By placing windows around the 272 breakpoints followed by Monte Carlo analysis comparing actual data to simulated data, we identified a recombination bias toward both high GC content and intergenic regions. A Monte Carlo analysis also suggested that recombination did not appear to be responsible for the generation of the spontaneous nucleotide mutations detected following sequencing. Additionally, kernel density estimation analysis across the genome found that the large, inverted repeats comprise a recombination hot spot.

IMPORTANCE Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) virus is the leading cause of sporadic encephalitis and blinding keratitis in developed countries. HSV-1 has been shown to be highly recombinogenic, and recombination itself appears to be a significant component of genome replication. To date, there has been no genome-wide analysis of recombination. Here we present the findings of the first genome-wide study of recombination performed by generating and sequencing 40 HSV-1 recombinants derived from the OD4 and CJ994 parental strains, followed by bioinformatics analysis. Recombination breakpoints were determined, yielding 272 breakpoints in the full data set. Kernel density analysis determined that the large inverted repeats constitute a recombination hot spot. Additionally, Monte Carlo analyses found biases toward high GC content and intergenic and repetitive regions.

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