Rapid evolutionary dynamics of zucchini yellow mosaic virus

Heather E. Simmons, Edwad C. Holmes, Andrew G. Stephenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV) is an economically important virus of cucurbit crops. However, little is known about the rate at which this virus has evolved within members of the family Cucurbitaceae, or the timescale of its epidemiological history. Herein, we present the first analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of ZYMV. Using a Bayesian coalescent approach we show that the coat protein of ZYMV has evolved a mean rate of 5.0x10-4 nucleotide substitutions per site, per year. Notably, this rate is equivalent to those observed in animal RNA viruses. Using the same approach we show that the lineages of ZYMV sampled here have an ancestry that dates back no more than 800 years, suggesting that human activities have played a central role in the dispersal of ZYMV. Finally, an analysis of phylogeographical structure provides strong evidence for the in situ evolution of ZYMV within individual countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1081-1085
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology


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