Genetic Diversity of SARS-CoV-2 over a One-Year Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Global Perspective.

Miao MiaoGuangdi Li


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a global pandemic of coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19). Genome surveillance is a key method to track the spread of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Genetic diversity and evolution of SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed based on 260,673 whole-genome sequences, which were sampled from 62 countries between 24 December 2019 and 12 January 2021. We found that amino acid (AA) substitutions were observed in all SARS-CoV-2 proteins, and the top six proteins with the highest substitution rates were ORF10, nucleocapsid, ORF3a, spike glycoprotein, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, and ORF8. Among 25,629 amino acid substitutions at 8484 polymorphic sites across the coding region of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, the D614G (93.88%) variant in spike and the P323L (93.74%) variant in RNA-dependent RNA polymerase were the dominant variants on six continents. As of January 2021, the genomic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 could be divided into at least 12 different clades. Distributions of SARS-CoV-2 clades were featured with temporal and geographical dynamics on six continents. Overall, this large-scale analysis provides a detailed mapping of SARS-CoV-2 variants in different geographic areas at different time poin...Continue Reading


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