Pervasive Differential Splicing in Marek’s Disease Virus can Discriminate CVI-988 Vaccine Strain from RB-1B Very Virulent Strain in Chicken Embryonic Fibroblasts

Yashar Sadigh, Abdessamad Tahiri-Alaoui, Stephen Spatz, Venugopal Nair, Paolo Ribeca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Marek’s disease is a major scourge challenging poultry health worldwide. It is caused by the highly contagious Marek’s disease virus (MDV), an alphaherpesvirus. Here, we showed that, similar to other members of its Herpesviridae family, MDV also presents a complex landscape of splicing events, most of which are uncharacterised and/or not annotated. Quite strikingly, and although the biological relevance of this fact is unknown, we found that a number of viral splicing isoforms are strain-specific, despite the close sequence similarity of the strains considered: very virulent RB-1B and vaccine CVI-988. We validated our findings by devising an assay that discriminated infections caused by the two strains in chicken embryonic fibroblasts on the basis of the presence of some RNA species. To our knowledge, this study is the first to accomplish such a result, emphasizing how relevant a comprehensive picture of the viral transcriptome is to fully understand viral pathogenesis.
Original languageEnglish
Article number329
Number of pages20
JournalViruses
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license

Funder

The Pirbright Institute receives grant-aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom (projects BB/E/I/00007035, BB/E/I/00007036,
BB/E/I/00007037, BB/E/I/00007038, and BBS/E/I/00007039). We also acknowledge support from BBSRC grants
BBS/E/I/00001942 and BB/K011057/1. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this publication is solely for the purpose of providing specific information and does not imply recommendation or endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This work was funded in part by USDA-ARS CRIS project number 6040-32000-074-00D

Keywords

  • MDV strain CVI-988
  • MDV strain RB-1B
  • Marek's disease virus
  • RNA splicing isoforms
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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