In addition to influenza A subtypes, two distinct lineages of influenza B virus also cause seasonal epidemics to humans. Recently, Dudas et al. have done evolutionary analyses of reassortment patterns of the virus and suggested genetic lineage relationship between PB1, PB2, and HA genes. Using genetic plasmids and reassortant viruses, we here demonstrate that a homologous lineage PB1-PB2 pair exhibits better compatibility than a heterologous one and that the lineage relationship between PB1 and HA is more important for viral replication than that between PB2 and HA. However, co-adaptation of PB1-PB2-HA genes appears to be affected by complete gene constellation.
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