Polymorphism of Genetic Ambigrams

Dudas, Gytis; Huber, Greg; Wilkinson, Michael and Yllanes, David (2021). Polymorphism of Genetic Ambigrams. Virus Evolution, 7(1), article no. veab038.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/ve/veab038


Double synonyms in the genetic code can be used as a tool to test competing hypotheses regarding ambigrammatic narnavirus genomes. Applying the analysis to recent observations of Culex narnavirus 1 and Zhejiang mosquito virus 3 ambigrammatic viruses indicates that the open reading frame on the complementary strand of the segment coding for RNA-dependent RNA polymerase does not code for a functional protein. Culex narnavirus 1 has been shown to possess a second segment, also ambigrammatic, termed ‘Robin’. We find a comparable segment for Zhejiang mosquito virus 3, a moderately diverged relative of Culex narnavirus 1. Our analysis of Robin polymorphisms suggests that its reverse open reading frame also does not code for a functional protein. We make a hypothesis about its role.

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