Molecular evolution and targeted recombination of SARS-CoV-2 in South Korea

Atanas V. Demirev, Kyuyoung Lee, Joon Yong Bae, Heedo Park, Sejik Park, Hyunbeen Kim, Jungmin Lee, Junhyung Cho, Jeong Sun Yang, Kyung Chang Kim, Joo Yeon Lee, Kisoon Kim, Philippe Lemey, Man Seong Park, Jin Il Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 variants have continuously emerged globally, including in South Korea. To characterize the molecular evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in South Korea, we performed phylogenetic and genomic recombination analyses using more than 12,000 complete genome sequences collected until October 2022. The variants in South Korea originated from globally identified variants of concern and harbored genetic clade-common and clade-specific amino acid mutations mainly around the N-terminal domain (NTD) or receptor binding domain (RBD) in the spike protein. Several point mutation residues in key antigenic sites were under positive selection persistently with changing genetic clades of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, we detected 17 potential genomic recombinants and 76.4% (13/17) retained the mosaic NTD or RBD genome. Our results suggest that point mutations and genomic recombination in the spike contributed to the molecular evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in South Korea, which will form an integral part of global prevention and control measures against SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107689
JournaliScience
Volume26
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Sept 15

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • Phylogenetics
  • Virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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