Preprint Brief Report Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

De-novo Assembly of RaTG13 Genome Reveals Inconsistencies Further Obscuring SARS-CoV-2 Origins

Version 1 : Received: 25 August 2020 / Approved: 27 August 2020 / Online: 27 August 2020 (07:56:01 CEST)

How to cite: Singla, M.; Ahmad, S.; Gupta, C.; Sethi, T. De-novo Assembly of RaTG13 Genome Reveals Inconsistencies Further Obscuring SARS-CoV-2 Origins. Preprints 2020, 2020080595 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0595.v1). Singla, M.; Ahmad, S.; Gupta, C.; Sethi, T. De-novo Assembly of RaTG13 Genome Reveals Inconsistencies Further Obscuring SARS-CoV-2 Origins. Preprints 2020, 2020080595 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202008.0595.v1).

Abstract

An intense scientific debate is ongoing as to the origin of SARS-CoV-2. An oft-cited piece of information in this debate is the genome sequence of a bat coronavirus strain referred to as RaTG13 1 mentioned in a recent Nature paper 2 showing 96.2% genome homology with SARS-CoV-2. This is discussed as a fossil record of a strain whose current existence is unknown. The said strain is conjectured by many to have been part of the ancestral pool from which SARS-CoV-2 may have evolved 7, 8, 9. Multiple groups have been discussing the features of the genome sequence of the said strain. In this paper, we report that the currently specified level of details are grossly insufficient to draw inferences about the origin of SARS-CoV-2. De-novo assembly, KRONA analysis for metagenomic and re-examining data quality highlights the key issues with the RaTG13 genome and the need for a dispassionate review of this data. This work is a call to action for the scientific community to better collate scientific evidence about the origins of SARS-CoV-2 so that future incidence of such pandemics may be effectively mitigated.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; de novo assembly; metagenomics; data quality

Comments (2)

Comment 1
Received: 28 August 2020
Commenter: Perez
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: On RaTG13 and PRRA Spike insert please read Perez & Montagnier paper in https://zenodo.org/record/3975578
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Comment 2
Received: 18 September 2020
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: You might be interested in:
Complete mitochondrial genomes from transcriptomes: assessing pros and cons of data mining for assembling new mitogenomes
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-51313-7
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