Gene 2014 Dec 19;552(2):209-18. Epub 2014 Sep 19.
University School of Biotechnology, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, Sector-16C, Delhi 110078, India. Electronic address:
Microsatellites or Simple Sequence Repeats (SSRs) are tandem iterations of one to six base pairs, non-randomly distributed throughout prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes. Limited knowledge is available about distribution of microsatellites in single stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses, particularly vertebrate infecting viruses. We studied microsatellite distribution in 118 ssDNA virus genomes belonging to three families of vertebrate infecting viruses namely Circoviridae, Parvoviridae, and Anelloviridae, and found that microsatellites constitute an important component of these virus genomes. Mononucleotide repeats were predominant followed by dinucleotide and trinucleotide repeats. A strong positive relationship existed between number of mononucleotide repeats and genome size among all the three virus families. A similar relationship existed for the occurrence of DTTPH (di-, tri-, tetra-, penta- and hexa-nucleotide) repeats in the families Anelloviridae and Parvoviridae only. Relative abundance and relative density of mononucleotide repeats showed a strong positive relationship with genome size in Circoviridae and Parvoviridae. However, in the case of DTTPH repeats, these features showed a strong relationship with genome size in Circoviridae only. On the other hand, relative microsatellite abundance and relative density of mononucleotide repeats were negatively correlated with GC content (%) in Parvoviridae genomes. On the basis of available annotations, our analysis revealed maximum occurrence of mononucleotide as well as DTTPH repeats in the coding regions of these virus genomes. Interestingly, after normalizing the length of the coding and non-coding regions of each virus genome, we found relative density of microsatellites much higher in the non-coding regions. We understand that the present study will help in the better characterization of the stability, genome organization and evolution of these virus classes and may provide useful leads to decipher the etiopathogenesis of these viruses.