Chang Weizhong et al.
Herpes simplex virus type (HSV-2) is a common causative agent of genital tract infections. Moreover, HSV-2 and HIV infection can mutually increase the risk of acquiring another virus infection. Due to the high GC content and highly repetitive regions in HSV-2 genomes, only the genomes of four strains have been completely sequenced (HG52, 333, SD90e, and MS). Strain G is commonly used for HSV-2 research, but only a partial genome sequence has been assembled with Illumina sequencing reads. In the current study, we de novo assembled and annotated the complete genome of strain G using PacBio long sequencing reads, which can span the repetitive regions, analyzed the 'α' sequence, which plays key roles in HSV-2 genome circulation, replication, cleavage, and packaging of progeny viral DNA, identified the packaging signals homologous to HSV-1 within the 'α' sequence, and determined both termini of the linear genome and cleavage site for the process of concatemeric HSV-2 DNA produced via rolling-circle replication. In addition, using Oxford Nanopore Technology sequencing reads, we visualized four HSV-2 genome isomers at the nucleotide level for the first time. Furthermore, the coding sequences of HSV-2 strain G have been compared with those of HG52, 333, and MS. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis of strain G and other diverse HSV-2 strains has been conducted to determine their evolutionary relationship. The results will aid clinical research and treatment development of HSV-2.