Phylogenetic relationships in the family Alloherpesviridae

Thomas B. Waltzek, Garry O. Kelley, Michael E. Alfaro, Tomofumi Kurobe, Andrew J. Davison, Ronald Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


Phylogenetic relationships among herpesviruses (HVs) of mammals, birds, and reptiles have been studied extensively, whereas those among other HVs are relatively unexplored. We have reconstructed the phylogenetic relationships among 13 fish and amphibian HVs using maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses of amino acid sequences predicted from parts of the DNA polymerase and terminase genes. The relationships among 6 of these viruses were confirmed using the partial DNA polymerase data plus the complete sequences of the terminase, helicase, and triplex protein genes; the position of these viruses among all other sequenced HVs was also investigated using the complete terminase gene. The results established the monophyly of the fish and amphibian HVs (Alloherpesviridae) separate from the HVs of mammals, birds, and reptiles (Herpesviridae) and the single recognized HV of bivalve mollusks (Malacoherpesviridae) in the order Herpesvirales. Two major clades in the family Alloherpesviridae were recognized: one consisting of viruses from cyprinid and anguillid hosts and the other of viruses from ictalurid, salmonid, acipenserid, and ranid hosts. A comparison of virus and host phylogenies suggested that closely related HVs in this family may have coevolved with their hosts, whereas significant codiversification was not apparent for the more distantly related viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-194
Number of pages16
JournalDiseases of Aquatic Organisms
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 29 2009


  • Alloherpesviridae
  • Coevolution
  • Dna polymerase
  • Fish herpesviruses
  • Frog herpesviruses
  • Phylogeny
  • Terminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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