Phylogenetic analysis of marine mammal herpesviruses

Heather T D Maness, Hendrik H. Nollens, Eric D. Jensen, Tracey Goldstein, Sarah LaMere, April Childress, John Sykes, Judy St. Leger, Géraldine Lacave, F. Ed Latson, James F X Wellehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Five novel DNA-dependent DNA polymerase (Dpol) herpesviral sequences were generated using nested consensus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in clinical samples from a harbor seal (Phoca vitulina), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus), orca (Orcinus orca), California sea lion (Zalophus californianus), and a Phocid herpesvirus 2 (PhHV-2) isolate from a harbor seal (used as positive control). These novel sequences and other representative herpesvirus sequences were included in Bayesian and Maximum Likelihood analyses to illustrate the phylogeny of herpesviruses amongst the marine mammal host species and in comparison to those of other animals. All 19 novel and known marine mammal herpesviruses included in the analyses aligned with members of the Alphaherpesvirinae or Gammaherpesvirinae subfamilies. The novel harbor seal herpesvirus clustered with members of the Macavirus genus, subfamily Gammaherpesvirinae. The novel bottlenose dolphin herpesvirus clustered together in a monophyletic group with another delphinid alphaherpesvirus but could not be associated with an established genus. The orca herpesvirus also clustered with a delphinid alphaherpesvirus and formed a separate clade. The sea lion herpesvirus clustered with PhHV-2. PhHV-1 clustered with varicelloviruses and PhHV-2 clustered strongly in the Gammaherpesvirinae genus Percavirus. All cetacean gammaherpesviruses formed a monophyletic clade and could not be associated with an established gammaherpesviral genus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 21 2011


  • Cetacean
  • Delphinid
  • Herpesviridae
  • Herpesvirus
  • Marine mammal
  • Otariid
  • Phocid
  • Phylogeny
  • Pinniped
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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