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Island Biogeography Reveals the Deep History of SIV

Science  17 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5998, pp. 1487
DOI: 10.1126/science.1193550

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Abstract

Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) lineages have been identified that are endemic to Bioko Island. The time the island formed offers a geological time scale calibration point for dating the most recent common ancestor of SIV. The Bioko viruses cover the whole range of SIV genetic diversity, and each Bioko SIV clade is most closely related to viruses circulating in hosts of the same genus on the African mainland rather than to SIVs of other Bioko species. Our phylogeographic approach establishes that SIV is ancient and at least 32,000 years old. Our conservative calibration point and analyses of gene sequence saturation and dating bias suggest it may be much older.

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