A novel Australian flying-fox retrovirus shares an evolutionary ancestor with Koala, Gibbon and Melomys gamma-retroviruses
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A novel gamma-retroviral sequence (7912 bp), inclusive of both partial 5′ and 3′ long terminal repeat regions, was identified from the brain of a black flying-fox (Pteropus alecto), Queensland, Australia. The sequence was distinct from other retroviral sequences identified in bats and showed greater identity to Koala, Gibbon ape leukaemia, Melomys burtoni and Woolly monkey retroviruses, forming their own phylogenetic clade. This finding suggests that these retroviruses may have an unknown common ancestor and that further investigation into the diversity of gamma-retroviruses in Australian Pteropus species may elucidate their evolutionary origins.
KeywordsAncestor Evolution Flying-fox Koala Melomys burtoni Pteropus Retrovirus
The authors would like to thank Dr. Gavin Wilkie, Ali Hoeger and the management and staff of the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory for technical assistance and their generous support; Dr. Gregory Simmons for discussions; and Dr. Janine Barrett and Dr. Darren Underwood for reviewing the manuscript. The project was funded by Biosecurity Queensland, the University of Queensland and Wildlife Health Australia.
All authors have reviewed the final version of the manuscript and approved it for publication. Conceived of or designed the study: LM, CS, AG, KA, JM; performed research: LM, CS; analysed data: LM, CS, JO; wrote/reviewed the paper: LM, CS, AG, KA, JM, JO.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
All authors have reviewed the final version of the manuscript and approve it for publication.
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