Author

Jared Weiss

Date of Award

2014

First Advisor

Erin McMullin

Second Advisor

Thomas Coote

Abstract

This project explores the similarities and differences between the genotypes and subtypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by examining their genomic sequences. Using bioinformatics techniques available through the programs MEGA 5.2 and Arlequin 3.5, HCV sequences culled from the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s databases were examined in order to build phylogenies, determine selective pressures and evolutionary rates of several HCV genes, conduct AMOVA analyses, and more. By synthesizing the findings of this project with findings and information drawn from previously published studies and review articles, the goal is to improve understanding of variation between HCV genotypes and subtypes from an evolutionary perspective, as the project attempts to determine the phylogenetic origins of genotypes and subtypes and the selective pressures driving their divergence. This project also considers the infection process and epidemiology of HCV and hepatitis C disease, as they serve to further our understanding of variation in HCV.

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