Genome and evolution of Tibet orbivirus, TIBOV (genus Orbivirus, family Reoviridae)

Tingting Gao, Minghua Li, Hong Liu, Shihong Fu, Huanyu Wang, Guodong Liang

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Tibet orbivirus (TIBOV) was first isolated from Anopheles maculatus mosquitoes in Xizang, China, in 2009. In recent years, more TIBOV strains have been isolated in several provinces across China, Japan, East Asia, and Nepal, South Asia. Furthermore, TIBOVs have also been isolated from Culex mosquitoes, and several midge species. Additionally, TIBOV neutralizing antibodies have been detected in serum specimens from several mammals, including cattle, sheep, and pigs. All of the evidence suggests that the geographical distribution of TIBOVs has significantly expanded in recent years, with an increased number of vector species involved in its transmission. Moreover, the virus demonstrated infectivity towards a variety of animals. Although TIBOV is considered an emerging orbivirus, detailed reports on its genome and molecular evolution are currently lacking. Thus, this study performed the whole-genome nucleotide sequencing of three TIBOV isolates from mosquitoes and midges collected in China in 2009, 2011, and 2019. Furthermore, the genome and molecular genetic evolution of TIBOVs isolated from different countries, periods, and hosts (mosquitoes, midges, and cattle) was systematically analyzed. The results revealed no molecular specificity among TIBOVs isolated from different countries, periods, and vectors. Meanwhile, the time-scaled phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of TIBOV appeared approximately 797 years ago (95% HPD: 16-2347) and subsequently differentiated at least three times, resulting in three distinct genotypes. The evolutionary rate of TIBOVs was about 2.12 × 10-3 nucleotide substitutions per site per year (s/s/y) (95% HPD: 3.07 × 10-5, 9.63 × 10-3), which is similar to that of the bluetongue virus (BTV), also in the Orbivirus genus. Structural analyses of the viral proteins revealed that the three-dimensional structures of the outer capsid proteins of TIBOV and BTV were similar. These results suggest that TIBOV is a newly discovered and rapidly evolving virus transmitted by various blood-sucking insects. Given the potential public health burden of this virus and its high infectious rate in a wide range of animals, it is significant to strengthen research on the genetic variation of TIBOVs in blood-feeding insects and mammals in the natural environment and the infection status in animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1327780
JournalFrontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology
StatePublished - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • molecular genetics
  • Orbivirus
  • phylogeny
  • Reoviridae
  • Tibet orbivirus
  • viral genome structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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