Comparison of a Modern and Fossil Pithovirus Reveals Its Genetic Conservation and Evolution

  title={Comparison of a Modern and Fossil Pithovirus Reveals Its Genetic Conservation and Evolution},
  author={Anthony Levasseur and Julien Andreani and J{\'e}r{\'e}my Delerce and Jacques Yaacoub Bou Khalil and Catherine Robert and Bernard La Scola and Didier Raoult},
  booktitle={Genome biology and evolution},
Most theories on viral evolution are speculative and lack fossil comparison. Here, we isolated a modern Pithovirus-like virus from sewage samples. This giant virus, named Pithovirus massiliensis, was compared with its prehistoric counterpart, Pithovirus sibericum, found in Siberian permafrost. Our analysis revealed near-complete gene repertoire conservation, including horizontal gene transfer and ORFans. Furthermore, all orthologous genes evolved under strong purifying selection with a non… CONTINUE READING

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