Bottleneck size-dependent changes in the genetic diversity and specific growth rate of a rotavirus a strain

Syun Suke Kadoya, Syun Ichi Urayama, Takuro Nunoura, Miho Hirai, Yoshihiro Takaki, Masaaki Kitajima, Toyoko Nakagomi, Osamu Nakagomi, Satoshi Okabe, Osamu Nishimura, Daisuke Sano

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11 Citations (Scopus)


RNA viruses form a dynamic distribution of mutant swarms (termed "quasispecies") due to the accumulation of mutations in the viral genome. The genetic diversity of a viral population is affected by several factors, including a bottleneck effect. Human-To-human transmission exemplifies a bottleneck effect, in that only part of a viral population can reach the next susceptible hosts. In the present study, two lineages of the rhesus rotavirus (RRV) strain of rotavirus A were serially passaged five times at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.1 or 0.001, and three phenotypes (infectious titer, cell binding ability, and specific growth rate) were used to evaluate the impact of a bottleneck effect on the RRV population. The specific growth rate values of lineages passaged under the stronger bottleneck (MOI of 0.001) were higher after five passages. The nucleotide diversity also increased, which indicated that the mutant swarms of the lineages under the stronger bottleneck effect were expanded through the serial passages. The random distribution of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions on rotavirus genome segments indicated that almost all mutations were selectively neutral. Simple simulations revealed that the presence of minor mutants could influence the specific growth rate of a population in a mutant frequency-dependent manner. These results indicate a stronger bottleneck effect can create more sequence spaces for minor sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere02083-19
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May 1


  • Bottleneck effect
  • Genetic diversity
  • Ngs
  • Population genetics
  • Quasispecies
  • Rotavirus
  • Sequence space
  • Specific growth rate


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