The flaviviruses (family Flaviviridae) are a group of positive-strand RNA viruses, many of which pose serious risks to human health on a global scale. Here, we calibrate the timeline of flavivirus evolution using flavivirus-derived DNA sequences identified in animal genomes. We demonstrate that the family is at least 100 million years old and show that this timing can be integrated with dates inferred from co-phylogenetic analysis and paleontological records to produce a cohesive overview of flavivirus evolution in which the main subgroups originate early in animal evolution and broadly co-diverge with animal phyla. In addition, we show that the arthropod-borne 'classical' flaviviruses first evolved from tick-specific viruses, and only later adapted to become insect-borne. Our findings demonstrate that the biological properties of flaviviruses have been acquired over many millions of years of evolution, implying that broad-scale comparative analysis can reveal fundamental insights into flavivirus biology. We implement a novel approach to computational genomic studies of viruses that can support these efforts by enabling more efficient utilization of evolution-related domain knowledge in virus research.
- Downloaded 310 times
- Download rankings, all-time:
- Site-wide: 103,278
- In evolutionary biology: 5,198
- Year to date:
- Site-wide: 23,811
- Since beginning of last month:
- Site-wide: 1,237
Downloads over time
Distribution of downloads per paper, site-wide
- 27 Nov 2020: The website and API now include results pulled from medRxiv as well as bioRxiv.
- 18 Dec 2019: We're pleased to announce PanLingua, a new tool that enables you to search for machine-translated bioRxiv preprints using more than 100 different languages.
- 21 May 2019: PLOS Biology has published a community page about Rxivist.org and its design.
- 10 May 2019: The paper analyzing the Rxivist dataset has been published at eLife.
- 1 Mar 2019: We now have summary statistics about bioRxiv downloads and submissions.
- 8 Feb 2019: Data from Altmetric is now available on the Rxivist details page for every preprint. Look for the "donut" under the download metrics.
- 30 Jan 2019: preLights has featured the Rxivist preprint and written about our findings.
- 22 Jan 2019: Nature just published an article about Rxivist and our data.
- 13 Jan 2019: The Rxivist preprint is live!