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1.
Mol Biol Evol ; 39(4)2022 Apr 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758789

ABSTRACT

Among the 30 nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions in the Omicron S-gene are 13 that have only rarely been seen in other SARS-CoV-2 sequences. These mutations cluster within three functionally important regions of the S-gene at sites that will likely impact (1) interactions between subunits of the Spike trimer and the predisposition of subunits to shift from down to up configurations, (2) interactions of Spike with ACE2 receptors, and (3) the priming of Spike for membrane fusion. We show here that, based on both the rarity of these 13 mutations in intrapatient sequencing reads and patterns of selection at the codon sites where the mutations occur in SARS-CoV-2 and related sarbecoviruses, prior to the emergence of Omicron the mutations would have been predicted to decrease the fitness of any virus within which they occurred. We further propose that the mutations in each of the three clusters therefore cooperatively interact to both mitigate their individual fitness costs, and, in combination with other mutations, adaptively alter the function of Spike. Given the evident epidemic growth advantages of Omicron overall previously known SARS-CoV-2 lineages, it is crucial to determine both how such complex and highly adaptive mutation constellations were assembled within the Omicron S-gene, and why, despite unprecedented global genomic surveillance efforts, the early stages of this assembly process went completely undetected.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/genetics , Humans , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
2.
Bioinformatics ; 2022 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758638

ABSTRACT

MOTIVATION: Building reliable phylogenies from very large collections of sequences with a limited number of phylogenetically informative sites is challenging because sequencing errors and recurrent/backward mutations interfere with the phylogenetic signal, confounding true evolutionary relationships. Massive global efforts of sequencing genomes and reconstructing the phylogeny of SARS-CoV-2 strains exemplify these difficulties since there are only hundreds of phylogenetically informative sites and millions of genomes. For such datasets, we set out to develop a method for building the phylogenetic tree of genomic haplotypes consisting of positions harboring common variants to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for more accurate and fast phylogenetic inference of resolvable phylogenetic features. RESULTS: We present the TopHap approach that determines spatiotemporally common haplotypes of common variants and builds their phylogeny at a fraction of the computational time of traditional methods. We develop a bootstrap resampling strategy that resamples genomes spatiotemporally to assess topological robustness. The application of TopHap to build a phylogeny of 68,057 SARS-CoV-2 genomes (68KG) from the first year of the pandemic produced an evolutionary tree of major SARS-CoV-2 haplotypes. This phylogeny is concordant with the mutation tree inferred using the co-occurrence pattern of mutations and recovers key phylogenetic relationships from more traditional analyses. We also evaluated alternative roots of the SARS-CoV-2 phylogeny and found that the earliest sampled genomes in 2019 likely evolved by four mutations of the most recent common ancestor of all SARS-CoV-2 genomes. An application of TopHap to more than 1 million SARS-CoV-2 genomes reconstructed the most comprehensive evolutionary relationships of major variants, which confirmed the 68KG phylogeny and provided evolutionary origins of major variants of concern. AVAILABILITY: TopHap is available at https://github.com/SayakaMiura/TopHap.

3.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-296581

ABSTRACT

Motivation: Building reliable phylogenies from very large collections of sequences with a limited number of phylogenetically informative sites is challenging because sequencing errors and recurrent/backward mutations interfere with the phylogenetic signal, confounding true evolutionary relationships. Massive global efforts of sequencing genomes and reconstructing the phylogeny of SARS-CoV-2 strains exemplify these difficulties since there are only hundreds of phylogenetically informative sites and millions of genomes. For such datasets, we set out to develop a method for building the phylogenetic tree of genomic haplotypes consisting of positions harboring common variants to improve the signal-to-noise ratio for more accurate phylogenetic inference of resolvable phylogenetic features. Results: We present the TopHap approach that determines spatiotemporally common haplotypes of common variants and builds their phylogeny at a fraction of the computational time of traditional methods. To assess topological robustness, we develop a bootstrap resampling strategy that resamples genomes spatiotemporally. The application of TopHap to build a phylogeny of 68,057 genomes (68KG) produced an evolutionary tree of major SARS-CoV-2 haplotypes. This phylogeny is concordant with the mutation tree inferred using the co-occurrence pattern of mutations and recovers key phylogenetic relationships from more traditional analyses. We also evaluated alternative roots of the SARS-CoV-2 phylogeny and found that the earliest sampled genomes in 2019 likely evolved by four mutations of the most recent common ancestor of all SARS-CoV-2 genomes. An application of TopHap to more than 1 million genomes reconstructed the most comprehensive evolutionary relationships of major variants, which confirmed the 68KG phylogeny and provided evolutionary origins of major variants of concern. Availability: TopHap is available on the web at https://github.com/SayakaMiura/TopHap.

4.
Cell ; 184(20): 5189-5200.e7, 2021 09 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401295

ABSTRACT

The independent emergence late in 2020 of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 prompted renewed concerns about the evolutionary capacity of this virus to overcome public health interventions and rising population immunity. Here, by examining patterns of synonymous and non-synonymous mutations that have accumulated in SARS-CoV-2 genomes since the pandemic began, we find that the emergence of these three "501Y lineages" coincided with a major global shift in the selective forces acting on various SARS-CoV-2 genes. Following their emergence, the adaptive evolution of 501Y lineage viruses has involved repeated selectively favored convergent mutations at 35 genome sites, mutations we refer to as the 501Y meta-signature. The ongoing convergence of viruses in many other lineages on this meta-signature suggests that it includes multiple mutation combinations capable of promoting the persistence of diverse SARS-CoV-2 lineages in the face of mounting host immune recognition.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Evolution, Molecular , Mutation , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Codon/genetics , Genes, Viral , Genetic Drift , Host Adaptation/genetics , Humans , Immune Evasion , Phylogeny , Public Health
5.
Mol Biol Evol ; 38(8): 3046-3059, 2021 07 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1214648

ABSTRACT

Global sequencing of genomes of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has continued to reveal new genetic variants that are the key to unraveling its early evolutionary history and tracking its global spread over time. Here we present the heretofore cryptic mutational history and spatiotemporal dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 from an analysis of thousands of high-quality genomes. We report the likely most recent common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2, reconstructed through a novel application and advancement of computational methods initially developed to infer the mutational history of tumor cells in a patient. This progenitor genome differs from genomes of the first coronaviruses sampled in China by three variants, implying that none of the earliest patients represent the index case or gave rise to all the human infections. However, multiple coronavirus infections in China and the United States harbored the progenitor genetic fingerprint in January 2020 and later, suggesting that the progenitor was spreading worldwide months before and after the first reported cases of COVID-19 in China. Mutations of the progenitor and its offshoots have produced many dominant coronavirus strains that have spread episodically over time. Fingerprinting based on common mutations reveals that the same coronavirus lineage has dominated North America for most of the pandemic in 2020. There have been multiple replacements of predominant coronavirus strains in Europe and Asia as well as continued presence of multiple high-frequency strains in Asia and North America. We have developed a continually updating dashboard of global evolution and spatiotemporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 spread (http://sars2evo.datamonkey.org/).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Biological Evolution , COVID-19/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , Contact Tracing/methods , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Humans , Mutation , Pandemics , Phylogeny , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Sequence Analysis, DNA/methods
6.
Nature ; 592(7854): 438-443, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164876

ABSTRACT

Continued uncontrolled transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in many parts of the world is creating conditions for substantial evolutionary changes to the virus1,2. Here we describe a newly arisen lineage of SARS-CoV-2 (designated 501Y.V2; also known as B.1.351 or 20H) that is defined by eight mutations in the spike protein, including three substitutions (K417N, E484K and N501Y) at residues in its receptor-binding domain that may have functional importance3-5. This lineage was identified in South Africa after the first wave of the epidemic in a severely affected metropolitan area (Nelson Mandela Bay) that is located on the coast of the Eastern Cape province. This lineage spread rapidly, and became dominant in Eastern Cape, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces within weeks. Although the full import of the mutations is yet to be determined, the genomic data-which show rapid expansion and displacement of other lineages in several regions-suggest that this lineage is associated with a selection advantage that most plausibly results from increased transmissibility or immune escape6-8.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Mutation , Phylogeny , Phylogeography , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/transmission , DNA Mutational Analysis , Evolution, Molecular , Genetic Fitness , Humans , Immune Evasion , Models, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Selection, Genetic , South Africa/epidemiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Time Factors
7.
PLoS Biol ; 19(3): e3001115, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133664

ABSTRACT

Virus host shifts are generally associated with novel adaptations to exploit the cells of the new host species optimally. Surprisingly, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has apparently required little to no significant adaptation to humans since the start of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to October 2020. Here we assess the types of natural selection taking place in Sarbecoviruses in horseshoe bats versus the early SARS-CoV-2 evolution in humans. While there is moderate evidence of diversifying positive selection in SARS-CoV-2 in humans, it is limited to the early phase of the pandemic, and purifying selection is much weaker in SARS-CoV-2 than in related bat Sarbecoviruses. In contrast, our analysis detects evidence for significant positive episodic diversifying selection acting at the base of the bat virus lineage SARS-CoV-2 emerged from, accompanied by an adaptive depletion in CpG composition presumed to be linked to the action of antiviral mechanisms in these ancestral bat hosts. The closest bat virus to SARS-CoV-2, RmYN02 (sharing an ancestor about 1976), is a recombinant with a structure that includes differential CpG content in Spike; clear evidence of coinfection and evolution in bats without involvement of other species. While an undiscovered "facilitating" intermediate species cannot be discounted, collectively, our results support the progenitor of SARS-CoV-2 being capable of efficient human-human transmission as a consequence of its adaptive evolutionary history in bats, not humans, which created a relatively generalist virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Chiroptera/virology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/virology , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Evolution, Molecular , Genome, Viral , Host Specificity , Humans , Pandemics , Phylogeny , Receptors, Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Selection, Genetic , Viral Zoonoses/genetics , Viral Zoonoses/transmission
8.
bioRxiv ; 2021 Jan 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-807880

ABSTRACT

We report the likely most recent common ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 - the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This progenitor SARS-CoV-2 genome was recovered through a novel application and advancement of computational methods initially developed to reconstruct the mutational history of tumor cells in a patient. The progenitor differs from the earliest coronaviruses sampled in China by three variants, implying that none of the earliest patients represent the index case or gave rise to all the human infections. However, multiple coronavirus infections in China and the USA harbored the progenitor genetic fingerprint in January 2020 and later, suggesting that the progenitor was spreading worldwide as soon as weeks after the first reported cases of COVID-19. Mutations of the progenitor and its offshoots have produced many dominant coronavirus strains, which have spread episodically over time. Fingerprinting based on common mutations reveals that the same coronavirus lineage has dominated North America for most of the pandemic. There have been multiple replacements of predominant coronavirus strains in Europe and Asia and the continued presence of multiple high-frequency strains in Asia and North America. We provide a continually updating dashboard of global evolution and spatiotemporal trends of SARS-CoV-2 spread (http://sars2evo.datamonkey.org/).

9.
PLoS Pathog ; 16(8): e1008643, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-712942

ABSTRACT

The current state of much of the Wuhan pneumonia virus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 [SARS-CoV-2]) research shows a regrettable lack of data sharing and considerable analytical obfuscation. This impedes global research cooperation, which is essential for tackling public health emergencies and requires unimpeded access to data, analysis tools, and computational infrastructure. Here, we show that community efforts in developing open analytical software tools over the past 10 years, combined with national investments into scientific computational infrastructure, can overcome these deficiencies and provide an accessible platform for tackling global health emergencies in an open and transparent manner. Specifically, we use all SARS-CoV-2 genomic data available in the public domain so far to (1) underscore the importance of access to raw data and (2) demonstrate that existing community efforts in curation and deployment of biomedical software can reliably support rapid, reproducible research during global health crises. All our analyses are fully documented at https://github.com/galaxyproject/SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Public Health , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , COVID-19 , Data Analysis , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
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