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Characterization of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Strains with Adaptability

by Presloid, John B.

Abstract (Summary)
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is an RNA virus commonly used for the study of RNA virus evolution. Like other RNA viruses, VSV has a high mutation rate, averaging one mutation per genome per round of replication. This high mutation rate leads to a genetically heterogeneous population; each produced virus will have at least one new mutation. This collection of mutants is termed a quasispecies. Bottlenecking of a population results in the fixation of random mutations, which are more likely to be deleterious than those that are fixed through selection. Previous studies have found bottlenecked virus strains with adaptability defects that are unable to adapt and gain fitness normally. In the set of experiments presented here, I explored the quasispecies of these adaptability-deficient strains. Plaque sizes were measured for each strain as a surrogate of fitness values, and then fitness values for at least 200 clones of each strain were measured. Results suggested a lack of robustness in adaptability-deficient strains, as these strains produced a greater amount of deleterious mutants. In addition, these strains were less able to generate beneficial mutations. A lack of robustness would explain data collected both previously and in these experiments. This could have implications in vaccine design and treatment of RNA virus diseases.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Toledo Health Science Campus

School Location:USA - Ohio

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:virus robustness evolution vsv quasispecies adaptation

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2008

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