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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a diverse, partially double-stranded DNA virus, with 9 genotypes (A-I), and a putative 10th genotype (J), characterized thus far. Given the broadening interest in HBV sequencing, there is an increasing requirement for a consistent, unified approach to HBV genotype and subgenotype classification. We set out to generate an updated resource of reference sequences using the diversity of all genomic-length HBV sequences available in public databases. We collated and aligned genomic-length HBV sequences from public databases and used maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis to identify genotype clusters. Within each genotype, we examined the phylogenetic support for currently defined subgenotypes, as well as identifying well-supported clades and deriving reference sequences for them. Based on the phylogenies generated, we present a comprehensive set of HBV reference sequences at the genotype and subgenotype level. All of the generated data, including the alignments, phylogenies and chosen reference sequences, are available online ( as a simple open-access resource.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date



HBV, phylogenetics, reference sequences, whole genome