RNA viruses are especially capable of jumping to new host species and causing emerging virus diseases in humans and other organisms. My work used both phages and viruses of eukaryotes as laboratory models for elucidating evolutionary rules of RNA virus emergence. These studies demonstrated that mutations underlying host shifts could be beneficial on both the novel and current hosts, and that an evolutionary history of multiple host infection fostered future emergence success. Also, we showed that the rate of novel host invasion in the environment affected fixation of beneficial virus mutations and performance on the novel host. Although RNA virus emergence remains difficult to predict, our work establishes fundamental rules of viral pathogen emergence.
• Morley, V.J., and P.E. Turner. 2017. Dynamics of molecular evolution in RNA virus populations depend on sudden versus gradual environmental change. Evolution 71:872-883. DOI: 10.1111/evo.13193. PMID: 28121018
• Morley, V., S. Mendiola, and P.E. Turner. 2015. Rate of novel host invasion affects adaptive outcomes for an evolving RNA virus. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences 282:20150801. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0801. PMCID: PMC4632612
• Turner, P.E., N.M. Morales, B.W. Alto, and S.K. Remold. 2010. Role of evolved host breadth in the initial emergence of an RNA virus. Evolution 64(11):3273-3286.
• Dennehy, J.J., S.T. Abedon, and P.E. Turner. 2007. Host density impacts relative fitness of bacteriophage 6 genotypes in structured habitats. Evolution 61: 2516-2527
• Duffy, S., P.E. Turner, and C. L. Burch. 2006. Pleiotropic costs of niche expansion in the RNA bacteriophage 6. Genetics 172:751-757. PMCID: PMC1456241.
• Dennehy, J.J., N.A. Friedenberg, R.D. Holt, and P.E. Turner. 2006. Virus ecology and the maintenance of novel host use. American Naturalist 167:429-439.
• Duffy, S., P.E. Turner, and C. L. Burch. 2006. Pleiotropic costs of niche expansion in the RNA bacteriophage 6. Genetics 172:751-757. PMCID: PMC1456241