Homologous recombination in GB virus C/hepatitis G virus

Michael Worobey, Edward C. Holmes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Analysis of 33 GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) full or nearly full genome sequences revealed several putative inter- and intrasubtype recombinants. The breakpoints of the recombinant regions were mapped using a maximum-likelihood method, and the statistical significance for each region was tested using Monte Carlo simulation. The results were highly significant and provided evidence for the existence of complex mosaic genomes showing as many as nine recombination events, with breakpoints in the 5′ UTR and in all of the coding regions except the short NS4b gene. Recombination was confirmed by separate phylogenetic analysis of the various recombinant regions and by Sawyer's runs test. Taken together, these findings demonstrate for the first time that recombination is common in natural populations of GBV-C and that it takes place both within and between subtypes. The wide-ranging implications of such nonclonal history for reconstructing the spread and timescale of GBV-C evolution are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-261
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • GB virus C
  • Hepatitis G virus
  • Maximum likelihood
  • Mosaic
  • Phylogeny
  • Recombination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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