Host-pathogen Evolution: The Myxoma Virus Story Continues

Host-pathogen Evolution: The Myxoma Virus Story Continues

September 6, 2017


727 E. Tyler St.
Tempe, AZ 85287


Biodesign Institute, AL1-10/14, Lower Level

Date and Time

September 22, 2017, 2:00 pm (Length: 1 hour 0 minutes)

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Myxoma virus was introduced into the European rabbit population of Australia in 1950 as a potential biological control agent. In Australia, the highly lethal progenitor virus was rapidly replaced by field strains with lower virulence. Serendipitously, this continent-scale experiment in evolution was repeated with the illegal release of a separate strain of myxoma virus in France in 1952, with evolutionary outcomes remarkably similar to those in Australia. The Kerr Lab has used whole-genome sequencing to examine the evolution of field strains of myxoma virus from the progenitor viruses in Australia and the United Kingdom to recent times. From this combination of genomic and phenotypic studies, we suggest that there is no unique mutation associated with attenuation or return to virulence but rather in these large DNA viruses there are multiple genetic pathways converging on the same evolutionary outcome. 

Seminar will be webcast. Webcast link