The glycoprotein (G) gene sequences of avian metapneumovirus (aMPV) subtypes A, B, C, and D are variable in size and number of nucleotides. The G gene of early U.S. turkey isolates of aMPV-C have been reported to be 1798 nucleotides (nt) (585 aa) in length, whereas the G genes of more recent turkey isolates have been reported to be 783 nucleotides. In some studies, the G gene of aMPV-C turkey isolates was found to be truncated to a smaller G gene of 783 nt (261 aa) upon serial passages in Vero cells. This is believed to be due to the deletion of 1015 nt near the end of the open reading frame. The purpose of this study was to determine variation, if any, in the G gene of an aMPV-C isolated from a wild bird (Canada goose [Branta canadensis]) following serial passages in Vero cells. No size variation was observed for up to 50 passages, except for a few amino acid changes in the extracellular domain at the 50th passage level. The G gene of this wild bird isolate appears to be unique from subtype C metapneumoviruses of turkeys.
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Vol. 54 • No. 2