four species, the average JCV was 0.52 ± 0.25, meaning that
it is possible that these species form a baramin. The JCVs for
these five species can be seen in table 4. It might be possible
that these four species group together into a baramin due to
their common host range.
The Singapore grouper is a fish, which leads us to the
question that since the host belongs to a different order
(fish as compared to amphibians), then does it also belong
to a different baramin? Holopainen et al.
25 studied the
sequence similarity of the major capsid protein (MCP),
DNA polymerase, and neurofilament triplet H1-like protein
(NF-H1) between a number of Iridoviruses, and found that
SGIV is always an outlier compared to the other four species
mentioned here. If we exclude SGIV from the other four
species of Ranaviruses, the average JCV rises to 0.71 ± 0.07.
Eaton et al.
26 arrived at similar results. They compared FV3,
TFV, and ATV with SGIV and grouper iridovirus (GIV).
The two grouper iridoviruses had a JCV of 0.99, whereas
an average JCV of 0.86 for FV3, TFV and ATV. However,
the average JCV dropped to 0.44 when comparing between
these two groups (see table 5).
Also, for example, if we exclude SGIV from the other
four species of Ranaviruses, the average JCV rises to
0.71±0.07 for that group. This is interesting, since this way,
the standard error of the JCVs is reduced 3.6-fold (0.25 to
0.07). This is a useful method of subtractive evidence in
excluding species from a baramin, if these groups can be
classified this way.
African Swine Fever Virus
African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) is the single species
in the family Asfarviridae. It has a genome size of 170–193
Kbp depending on the isolate, which encodes 150–167 ORFs.
It is icosahedral in shape, and replicates in the cytoplasm
of infected cells.
27 It is not very much related to any other
NCLDV family. It has an average JCV of 0.0023 ± 0.001 with
other species in our analysis, showing high discontinuity;
therefore, it belongs to its own baramin.
Summary and conclusion
This study was a preliminary analysis of 49 NCLDV
species, based on the assumption that microorganisms follow
the same kind of speciation patterns as seen in different
kinds of created animals and plants. Here eight clusters
were found, or groups with at least three species each.
Since there are likely several hundreds or even thousands of
NCLDV species in nature, this study is only a preliminary
analysis, especially since the baraminology of NCLDVs and
microorganisms in general is very much unknown.
The present study shows that NCLDV species from
different groups do not have too many genes in common.
Thus, if two NCLDV species happen to have a high number
of common genes, it suggests they belong to the same
group (kind) of organisms. Different NCLDV groups had an
average JCV of 0.45, or 0.23 or even 0.18. These relatively
low numbers of common genes even within groups could
be due to the propensity of NCLDVs to have a high ratio
of unique genes, possibly due to HGT. Comparing total
gene/protein content is a simpler, robust and holistic way of
determining species relationships than creating dozens of
contradicting evolutionary trees based on single genes. Thus
the theory of a ‘fourth domain’ of life is not well founded.
In the analysis of 49 NCLDV species, only a number
of cases indicated groups equal to the level of genus
(Phaecocystis, Prasinophyceae, Pandoraviruses,
Ranaviruses), suggesting that this might be a good boundary
for the limits of NCLDV groups (or kinds). Similarly, for
SGIV TFV ATV EHNV
FV3 0.22 0.67 0.63 0.67
SGIV 0.22 0.26 0.27
TFV 0.81 0.74
Table 4. Jaccard Coefficient Values between members of the genus
Ranavirus. ATV = Ambystoma tigrinum virus, EHNV = Epizootic
hemtopoietic necrosis virus, FV3 = Frog virus 3, SGIV = Singapore grouper
iridovirus, TFV = Tiger frog virus.
Table 5. Jaccard Coefficient Values calculated for two groups of
Ranaviruses, according to data from Eaton et al.
26. ATV = Ambystoma
tigrinum virus, FV3 = Frog virus 3, GIV = grouper iridovirus, SGIV =
Singapore grouper iridovirus, TFV = Tiger frog virus.
Firstspecies No. genes Second species No. genes No. common genes JCV
ATV 91 FV3 97 86 0.88
ATV 91 TFV 103 91 0.84
FV3 97 TFV 103 92 0.85
Fish vs Amphibian Ranaviruses
ATV 91 GIV 139 72 0.46
ATV 91 SGIV 139 72 0.46
FV3 97 GIV 139 72 0.44
FV3 97 SGIV 139 72 0.44
GIV 139 TFV 103 72 0.42
SGIV 139 TFV 103 72 0.42
GIV 139 SGIV 139 138 0.99