Reverse Genetics of RNA Viruses: ISA-Based Approach to Control Viral Population Diversity without Modifying Virus Phenotype

Abstract : Reverse genetic systems are essential for the study of RNA viruses. Infectious clones remain the most widely used systems to manipulate viral genomes. Recently, a new PCR-based method called ISA (infectious subgenomic amplicons) has been developed. This approach has resulted in greater genetic diversity of the viral populations than that observed using infectious clone technology. However, for some studies, generation of clonal viral populations is necessary. In this study, we used the tick-borne encephalitis virus as model to demonstrate that utilization of a very high-fidelity, DNA-dependent DNA polymerase during the PCR step of the ISA procedure gives the possibility to reduce the genetic diversity of viral populations. We also concluded that the fidelity of the polymerase is not the only factor influencing this diversity. Studying the impact of genotype modification on virus phenotype is a crucial step for the development of reverse genetic methods. Here, we also demonstrated that the utilization of different PCR polymerases did not affect the phenotype (replicative fitness in cellulo and virulence in vivo) compared to the initial ISA procedure and the use of an infectious clone. In conclusion, we provide here an approach to control the genetic diversity of RNA viruses without modifying their phenotype.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 16, 2019 - 11:58:55 AM
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Jean-Sélim Driouich, Gregory Moureau, Xavier de Lamballerie, Antoine Nougairede. Reverse Genetics of RNA Viruses: ISA-Based Approach to Control Viral Population Diversity without Modifying Virus Phenotype. Viruses, MDPI, 2019, 11 (7), pp.666. ⟨10.3390/v11070666⟩. ⟨inserm-02289017⟩

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