Andrew E. Firth

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The family Potyviridae includes >30% of known plant virus species, many of which are of great agricultural significance. These viruses have a positive sense RNA genome that is approximately 10 kb long and contains a single long ORF. The ORF is translated into a large polyprotein, which is cleaved into approximately 10 mature proteins. We report the(More)
Influenza A virus (IAV) infection leads to variable and imperfectly understood pathogenicity. We report that segment 3 of the virus contains a second open reading frame ("X-ORF"), accessed via ribosomal frameshifting. The frameshift product, termed PA-X, comprises the endonuclease domain of the viral PA protein with a C-terminal domain encoded by the X-ORF(More)
Flavivirus NS1 is a nonstructural protein involved in virus replication and regulation of the innate immune response. Interestingly, a larger NS1-related protein, NS1', is often detected during infection with the members of the Japanese encephalitis virus serogroup of flaviviruses. However, how NS1' is made and what role it performs in the viral life cycle(More)
The majority of introns in gene transcripts are found within the coding sequences (CDSs). A small but significant fraction of introns are also found to reside within the untranslated regions (5'UTRs and 3'UTRs) of expressed sequences. Alignment of the whole genome and expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has identified(More)
There has been a dramatic increase in the number of insect-specific flaviviruses (ISFs) discovered in the last decade. Historically, these viruses have generated limited interest due to their inability to infect vertebrate cells. This viewpoint has changed in recent years because some ISFs have been shown to enhance or suppress the replication of medically(More)
Detecting new coding sequences (CDSs) in viral genomes can be difficult for several reasons. The typically compact genomes often contain a number of overlapping coding and non-coding functional elements, which can result in unusual patterns of codon usage; conservation between related sequences can be difficult to interpret – especially within overlapping(More)
The genus Orbivirus includes several species that infect livestock – including Bluetongue virus (BTV) and African horse sickness virus (AHSV). These viruses have linear dsRNA genomes divided into ten segments, all of which have previously been assumed to be monocistronic. Bioinformatic evidence is presented for a short overlapping coding sequence (CDS) in(More)
We investigated whether small RNA (sRNA) sequenced from field-collected mosquitoes and chironomids (Diptera) can be used as a proxy signature of viral prevalence within a range of species and viral groups, using sRNAs sequenced from wild-caught specimens, to inform total RNA deep sequencing of samples of particular interest. Using this strategy, we(More)
Japanese encephalitis, West Nile, Usutu and Murray Valley encephalitis viruses form a tight subgroup within the larger Flavivirus genus. These viruses utilize a single-polyprotein expression strategy, resulting in ~10 mature proteins. Plotting the conservation at synonymous sites along the polyprotein coding sequence reveals strong conservation peaks at the(More)
Directed evolution of proteins depends on the production of molecular diversity by random mutagenesis. While a number of methods have been developed for introducing this diversity, the best ways to sample it are not always clear. Here we used simple statistics to analyse completeness and diversity in randomized libraries generated by(More)