Spread of Early Coronavirus Lineages Reconstructed Using Genetic Network Technique

April 22, 2020 | Biotechnology

Reading time: 4-5 minutes

Sourced by Lab.Equipment from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN), here is an notable Biotechnology industry article for you:

Researchers from Cambridge, U.K., and Germany have used a genetic network technique known as phylogenetic network analysis to reconstruct the early evolutionary paths of SARS-CoV-2 in humans as infection spread from Wuhan out to Europe and North America. By analyzing the first 160 complete viral genomes to be sequenced from human patients, the scientists say they have mapped some of the original spread of the new coronavirus through its mutations, which result in different viral lineages. The team’s results identified three central variants, A, B, and C, which spread differentially.

“There are too many rapid mutations to neatly trace a COVID-19 family tree,” explained University of Cambridge geneticist Peter Forster, PhD. “We used a mathematical network algorithm to visualize all the plausible trees simultaneously. These techniques are mostly known for mapping the movements of prehistoric human populations through DNA. We think this is the first time they have been used to trace the infection routes... More of this in the GEN Blog.

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