Polymorphism of Genetic Ambigrams

Published in Virus Evolution, 2021

Dudas G, Huber G, Wilkinson M, Yllanes D, 2021. "Polymorphism of Genetic Ambigrams". Virus Evolution 7(1): veab038.


Double synonyms in the genetic code can be used as a tool to test competing hypotheses regarding ambigrammatic narnavirus genomes. Applying the analysis to recent observations of Culex narnavirus 1 and Zhejiang mosquito virus 3 ambigrammatic viruses indicates that the open reading frame on the complementary strand of the segment coding for RNA-dependent RNA polymerase does not code for a functional protein. Culex narnavirus 1 has been shown to possess a second segment, also ambigrammatic, termed ‘Robin’. We find a comparable segment for Zhejiang mosquito virus 3, a moderately diverged relative of Culex narnavirus 1. Our analysis of Robin polymorphisms suggests that its reverse open reading frame also does not code for a functional protein. We make a hypothesis about its role.

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