The complete genomes of Orungo virus (ORUV), Lebombo virus (LEBV) and Changuinola virus (CGLV) were sequenced, confirming that they each encode 11 distinct proteins (VP1-VP7 and NS1-NS4). Phylogenetic analyses of cell-attachment protein 'outer-capsid protein 1′ (OC1), show that orbiviruses fall into three large groups, identified as: VP2(OC1), in which OC1 is the 2nd largest protein, including the Culicoides transmitted orbiviruses; VP3(OC1), which includes the mosquito transmitted orbiviruses; and VP4(OC1) which includes the tick transmitted viruses. Differences in the size of OC1 between these groups, places the T2 'subcore-shell protein' as the third largest protein 'VP3(T2)' in the first of these groups, but the second largest protein 'VP3(T2)' in the other two groups. ORUV, LEBV and CGLV all group with the Culicoides-borne VP2(OC1)/VP3(T2) viruses. The G+C content of the ORUV, LEBV and CGLV genomes is also similar to that of the Culicoidesborne, rather than the mosquito-borne, or tick borne orbiviruses. These data suggest that ORUV and LEBV are Culicoides-rather than mosquito-borne. Multiple isolations of CGLV from sand flies suggest that they are its primary vector. OC1 of the insect-borne orbiviruses is approximately twice the size of the equivalent protein of the tick borne viruses. Together with internal sequence similarities, this suggests its origin by duplication (concatermerisation) of a smaller OC1 from an ancestral tick-borne orbivirus. Phylogenetic comparisons showing linear relationships between the dates of evolutionary-separation of their vector species, and genetic-distances between tick-, mosquito- or Culicoides-borne virus-groups, provide evidence for co-evolution of the orbiviruses with their arthropod vectors.
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