Viruses belonging to the species Wallal virus and Warrego virus of the genus Orbivirus were identified as causative agents of blindness in marsupials in Australia during 1994/5. Recent comparisons of nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) sequences have provided a basis for the grouping and classification of orbivirus isolates. However, full-genome sequence data are not available for representatives of all Orbivirus species. We report full-genome sequence data for three additional orbiviruses: Wallal virus (WALV); Mudjinabarry virus (MUDV) and Warrego virus (WARV). Comparisons of conserved polymerase (Pol), sub-core-shell 'T2' and core-surface 'T13' proteins show that these viruses group with other Culicoides borne orbiviruses, clustering with Eubenangee virus (EUBV), another orbivirus infecting marsupials. WARV shares <70% aa identity in all three conserved proteins (Pol, T2 and T13) with other orbiviruses, consistent with its classification within a distinct Orbivirus species. Although WALV and MUDV share <72.86%/67.93% aa/nt identity with other orbiviruses in Pol, T2 and T13, they share >99%/90% aa/nt identities with each other (consistent with membership of the same virus species - Wallal virus). However, WALV and MUDV share <68% aa identity in their larger outer capsid protein VP2(OC1), consistent with membership of different serotypes within the species - WALV-1 and WALV-2 respectively.
Belaganahalli, M. N., Maan, S., Maan, N. S., Pritchard, I., Kirkland, P. D., Brownlie, J., … Mertens, P. P. C. (2014). Full genome characterization of the culicoides-borne marsupial orbiviruses: Wallal virus, mudjinbarry virus and Warrego viruses. PLoS ONE, 9(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0108379