SARS-CoV-2 spillover transmission due to recombination event

Nariman Shahhosseini, Gary Wong, Gary P. Kobinger, Sadegh Chinikar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In late 2019, a novel Coronavirus emerged in China. Perceiving the modulating factors of cross-species virus transmission is critical to elucidate the nature of virus emergence. Using bioinformatics tools, we analyzed the mapping of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, modeling of protein structure, and analyze the evolutionary origin of SARS-CoV-2, as well as potential recombination events. Phylogenetic tree analysis shows that SARS-CoV-2 has the closest evolutionary relationship with Bat-SL-CoV-2 (RaTG13) at the scale of the complete virus genome, and less similarity to Pangolin-CoV. However, the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 is almost identical to Pangolin-CoV at the aa level, suggesting that spillover transmission probably occurred directly from pangolins, but not bats. Further recombination analysis revealed the pathway for spillover transmission from Bat-SL-CoV-2 and Pangolin-CoV. Here, we provide evidence for recombination event between Bat-SL-CoV-2 and Pangolin-CoV that resulted in the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, the role of mutations should be noted as another influencing factor in the continuing evolution and resurgence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101045
JournalGene Reports
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Mutation
  • Pandemic
  • Phylogenetics
  • Recombination
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'SARS-CoV-2 spillover transmission due to recombination event'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this