Mechanistic constraints in the acquisition of variation

It is well-known that in the virus-host battle, viruses adapt to changes in the environment by mutation. However, the degree to which this is limited by constraints on genome structure is poorly understood, especially for DNA viruses. We are interested in determining the degree to which the structure and architecture of a virus genome imposes stability on the virus and limits the degree to which it can mutate or otherwise acquire variation. Defining constraints on the structure of virus genomes will provide information that will aid in optimization of future algorithms developed to handle metagenomic sequencing data.