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Molecular Evolution of Viral Fusion and Matrix Protein Genes and Phylogenetic Relationships among the Paramyxoviridae

Elsevier Inc.
DOI: 10.1006/mpev.2001.0999
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Phylogenetic relationships among the Paramyxoviridae, a broad family of viruses whose members cause devastating diseases of wildlife, livestock, and humans, were examined with both fusion (F) and matrix (M) protein-coding sequences. Neighbor-joining trees of F and M protein sequences showed that the Paramyxoviridae was divided into the two traditionally recognized subfamilies, the Paramyxovirinae and the Pneumovirinae. Within the Paramyxovirinae, the results also showed groups corresponding to three currently recognized genera: Respirovirus, Morbillivirus, and Rubulavirus. The relationships among the three genera of the Paramyxovirinae were resolved with M protein sequences and there was significant bootstrap support (100%) showing that members of the genus Respirovirus and the genus Morbillivirus were more closely related to each other than to members of the genus Rubulavirus. Both F and M phylogenies showed that Newcastle disease virus (NDV) was more closely related to the genus Rubulavirus than to the other two genera but were consistent with the proposal (B. S. Seal et al., 2000, Virus Res. 66, 1–11) that NDV be classified as a separate genus within the Paramyxovirinae. Both F and M phylogenies were also consistent with the proposal (L. Wang et al., 2000, J. Virol 74, 9972–9979) that Hendra virus be classified as a new genus closely related and basal to the genus Morbillivirus. Rinderpest was most closely related to measles and a more derived virus than to canine distemper virus, phocine distemper virus, or dolphin morbillivirus.

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