The prototype strain of bovine adenovirus (BAdV) type 10 and four additional isolates that were indistinguishable in serum-neutralization tests have been shown to have remarkable variation in their genome size and restriction maps. In the present study, more than 40% of the DNA sequence of the BAdV-10 isolate with the longest genome was determined. A biased base composition resulting in low (<41%) GC content was noticed. Analysis of the genes of the DNA-binding protein, 100K, 33K, pVIII and fibre proteins, as well as early regions E3 and E4, which are encoded by the genome fragment examined, confirmed that BAdV-10 is different from the other known BAdV types regarding its phylogenetic distance and the organization of its exceptionally short E3 region, apparently containing only two genes. A comparative analysis of the E3 and E4 regions of BAdV-10 with various animal adenoviruses revealed interesting features accounting for the very short genome of BAdV-10. In the examined BAdV-10 isolate, duplicated sequences were localized in and around the fibre gene. Since BAdV-10 appears to be pathogenic to cattle and is genetically distant from the other BAdVs, we suggest that BAdV-10 is not a genuine bovine virus, but has recently switched host and is now undergoing an adaptation process in its new host. In accordance with this hypothesis, the remarkable predominance of AT-rich codons along with the variable fibre gene might be signs of adaptation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas