In this paper we describe the characterization of the genomes of two sea turtle papillomaviruses, Chelonia mydas PV (CmPV-1) and Caretta caretta PV (CcPV-1). The isolation and sequencing of the first non-avian reptilian PVs extend the evolutionary history of PVs to include all amniotes. PVs have now been described in mammals, birds and non-avian reptiles. The chelonian PVs form a distinct clade most closely related to the avian PVs. Unlike the avian PVs, both chelonian PVs have canonical E6 and E7 ORFs, indicating that these genes were present in the common ancestor to mammalian and non-mammalian amniote PVs. Rates of evolution among the non-mammalian PVs were generally slower than those estimated for mammalian PVs, perhaps due to lower metabolic rates among the ectothermic reptiles.
- Molecular evolution
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