Timing the ancestor of the HIV-1 pandemic strains

B. Korber*, M. Muldoon, J. Theiler, F. Gao, R. Gupta, A. Lapedes, B. H. Hahn, S. Wolinsky, T. Bhattacharya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

701 Scopus citations

Abstract

HIV-1 sequences were analyzed to estimate the timing of the ancestral sequence of the main group of HIV-1, the strains responsible for the AIDS pandemic. Using parallel supercomputers and assuming a constant rate of evolution, we applied maximum-likelihood phylogenetic methods to unprecedented amounts of data for this calculation. We validated our approach by correctly estimating the timing of two historically documented points. Using a comprehensive full-length envelope sequence alignment, we estimated the date of the last common ancestor of the main group of HIV-1 to be 1931 (1915-41). Analysis of a gag gene alignment, subregions of envelope including additional sequences, and a method that relaxed the assumption of a strict molecular clock also supported these results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1789-1796
Number of pages8
JournalScience
Volume288
Issue number5472
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 9 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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