Resolving ambiguity in the phylogenetic relationship of genotypes A, B, and C of hepatitis B virus
- Equal contributors
1 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
2 Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Contemporary Anthropology, School of Life Sciences and Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
3 The Fifth People’s Hospital of Wuxi, Wuxi 214073, China
4 Department of Computational Regulatory Genomics, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
5 Key Laboratory of Computational Biology, CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China
BMC Evolutionary Biology 2013, 13:120 doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-120Published: 11 June 2013
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an important infectious agent that causes widespread concern because billions of people are infected by at least 8 different HBV genotypes worldwide. However, reconstruction of the phylogenetic relationship between HBV genotypes is difficult. Specifically, the phylogenetic relationships among genotypes A, B, and C are not clear from previous studies because of the confounding effects of genotype recombination. In order to clarify the evolutionary relationships, a rigorous approach is required that can effectively explore genetic sequences with recombination.
In the present study, phylogenetic relationship of the HBV genotypes was reconstructed using a consensus phylogeny of phylogenetic trees of HBV genome segments. Reliability of the reconstructed phylogeny was extensively evaluated in agreements of local phylogenies of genome segments.
The reconstructed phylogenetic tree revealed that HBV genotypes B and C had a closer phylogenetic relationship than genotypes A and B or A and C. Evaluations showed the consensus method was capable to reconstruct reliable phylogenetic relationship in the presence of recombinants.
The consensus method implemented in this study provides an alternative approach for reconstructing reliable phylogenetic relationships for viruses with possible genetic recombination. Our approach revealed the phylogenetic relationships of genotypes A, B, and C of HBV.