A novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019) was the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness detected in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December of 2019. Genomic analyses of nCoV-2019 determined a 96% resemblance with a coronavirus isolated from a bat in 2013 (RaTG13); however, the receptor binding motif (RBM) of these two genomes share low sequence similarity. This divergence suggests a possible alternative source for the RBM coding sequence in nCoV-2019. We identified high sequence similarity in the RBM between nCoV-2019 and a coronavirus genome reconstructed from a viral metagenomic dataset from pangolins possibly indicating a more complex origin for nCoV-2019.
Wong, M., Javornik Cregeen, S., Ajami, N., & Petrosino, J. (2020). Evidence of recombination in coronaviruses implicating pangolin origins of nCoV-2019. BioRxiv : The Preprint Server for Biology. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.07.939207