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Bottleneck Size-Dependent Changes in the Genetic Diversity and Specific Growth Rate of a Rotavirus A Strain

By Syun-suke Kadoya, Syun-ichi Urayama, Takuro Nunoura, Miho Hirai, Yoshihiro Takaki, Masaaki Kitajima, Toyoko Nakagomi, Osamu Nakagomi, Satoshi Okabe, Osamu Nishimura, Daisuke Sano

Posted 13 Jul 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/702233 (published DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02083-19)

RNA viruses form a dynamic distribution of mutant swarm (termed 'quasispecies') due to the accumulation of mutations in the viral genome. The genetic diversity of a viral population is affected by several factors, including a bottleneck effect. Human-to-human transmission exemplifies a bottleneck effect in that only part of a viral population can reach the next susceptible hosts. In the present study, the rhesus rotavirus (RRV) strain of Rotavirus A was serially passaged five times at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.1 or 0.001 in duplicate (the 1st and 2nd lineages), and three phenotypes (infectious titer, cell binding ability and specific growth rate) were used to evaluate the impact of a bottleneck effect on the RRV population. The specific growth rate values of lineages passaged under the stronger bottleneck (MOI of 0.001) were higher after five passages. The nucleotide diversity also increased, which indicated that the mutant swarms of the lineages under the stronger bottleneck effect were expanded through the serial passages. The random distribution of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions on rotaviral genome segments indicated that almost all mutations were selectively neutral. Simple simulations revealed that the presence of minor mutants could influence the specific growth rate of a population in a mutant frequency-dependent manner. These results indicate that a stronger bottleneck effect can create more sequence spaces for minor mutants originally existing in a hidden layer of mutant swarm.

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