The open reading frame of the S3 segment encoding the σ2 protein of four turkey reovirus field isolates was analyzed for sequence heterogeneity. The turkey reoviruses we present here have a 97% amino acid identity to turkey NC 98. The S3 nucleotide and amino acid sequence similarity was ≤61% and 78%–80%, respectively, when compared to the chicken reovirus isolates. Comparison of amino acid sequences from chickens and turkeys with that of a duck isolate revealed a 53% and 55% similarity, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses, based on both nucleotide and amino acid sequence, resulted in three major groups among the avian reoviruses; these groups were clearly separated by species. The results of this study provide further evidence, based on the deduced σ2 sequence, that turkey reoviruses form a distinct, separate group relative to chicken and duck isolates. In addition, as a result of the limited sequence identity with their avian counterparts, turkey reoviruses could potentially be considered a separate virus species within subgroup 2 of the Orthoreovirus genus.
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Vol. 48 • No. 3