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July 1, 2019

Long-Read Sequencing – A Powerful Tool in Viral Transcriptome Research.

Long-read sequencing (LRS) has become increasingly popular due to its strengths in de novo assembly and in resolving complex DNA regions as well as in determining full-length RNA molecules. Two important LRS technologies have been developed during the past few years, including single-molecule, real-time sequencing by Pacific Biosciences, and nanopore sequencing by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. Although current LRS methods produce lower coverage, and are more error prone than short-read sequencing, these methods continue to be superior in identifying transcript isoforms including multispliced RNAs and transcript-length variants as well as overlapping transcripts and alternative polycistronic RNA molecules. Viruses have small, compact…

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April 1, 2019

Medusavirus, a Novel Large DNA Virus Discovered from Hot Spring Water.

Recent discoveries of new large DNA viruses reveal high diversity in their morphologies, genetic repertoires, and replication strategies. Here, we report the novel features of medusavirus, a large DNA virus newly isolated from hot spring water in Japan. Medusavirus, with a diameter of 260?nm, shows a T=277 icosahedral capsid with unique spherical-headed spikes on its surface. It has a 381-kb genome encoding 461 putative proteins, 86 of which have their closest homologs in Acanthamoeba, whereas 279 (61%) are orphan genes. The virus lacks the genes encoding DNA topoisomerase II and RNA polymerase, showing that DNA replication takes place in the…

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April 1, 2019

Consensus and variations in cell line specificity among human metapneumovirus strains.

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) has been a notable etiological agent of acute respiratory infection in humans, but it was not discovered until 2001, because HMPV replicates only in a limited number of cell lines and the cytopathic effect (CPE) is often mild. To promote the study of HMPV, several groups have generated green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing recombinant HMPV strains (HMPVGFP). However, the growing evidence has complicated the understanding of cell line specificity of HMPV, because it seems to vary notably among HMPV strains. In addition, unique A2b clade HMPV strains with a 180-nucleotide duplication in the G gene (HMPV A2b180nt-dup strains)…

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March 1, 2019

Complete genome sequence of a novel bacteriophage, PBKP05, infecting Klebsiella pneumoniae.

An increasing number of Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates have been found to be multi-drug resistant. A novel bacteriophage, PBKP05, which infects K. pneumoniae, was isolated and characterized. It has a linear double-stranded DNA genome of 30,240 base pairs in length. Its G+C content is 53%, and 47 putative open reading frames are functionally annotated. This phage can be a candidate material for phage therapy.

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March 1, 2019

Pandoravirus Celtis Illustrates the Microevolution Processes at Work in the Giant Pandoraviridae Genomes.

With genomes of up to 2.7 Mb propagated in µm-long oblong particles and initially predicted to encode more than 2000 proteins, members of the Pandoraviridae family display the most extreme features of the known viral world. The mere existence of such giant viruses raises fundamental questions about their origin and the processes governing their evolution. A previous analysis of six newly available isolates, independently confirmed by a study including three others, established that the Pandoraviridae pan-genome is open, meaning that each new strain exhibits protein-coding genes not previously identified in other family members. With an average increment of about 60…

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January 1, 2019

RNA-seq of HaHV-1-infected abalones reveals a common transcriptional signature of Malacoherpesviruses.

Haliotid herpesvirus-1 (HaHV-1) is the viral agent causative of abalone viral ganglioneuritis, a disease that has severely affected gastropod aquaculture. Although limited, the sequence similarity between HaHV-1 and Ostreid herpesvirus-1 supported the assignment of both viruses to Malacoherpesviridae, a Herpesvirales family distantly related with other viruses. In this study, we reported the first transcriptional data of HaHV-1, obtained from an experimental infection of Haliotis diversicolor supertexta. We also sequenced the genome draft of the Chinese HaHV-1 variant isolated in 2003 (HaHV-1-CN2003) by PacBio technology. Analysis of 13 million reads obtained from 3 RNA samples at 60?hours post injection (hpi) allowed…

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January 1, 2019

Virus-host coexistence in phytoplankton through the genomic lens

Phytoplankton-virus interactions are major determinants of geochemical cycles in the oceans. Viruses are responsible for the redirection of carbon and nutrients away from larger organisms back towards microorganisms via the lysis of microalgae in a process coined the "viral shunt". Virus-host interactions are generally expected to follow "boom and bust" dynamics, whereby a numerically dominant strain is lysed and replaced by a virus resistant strain. Here, we isolated a microalga and its infective nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) concomitantly from the environment in the surface NW Mediterranean Sea, Ostreococcus mediterraneus, and show continuous growth in culture of both the microalga…

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October 1, 2018

Emergence of gyrovirus 3 in commercial broiler chickens with transmissible viral proventriculitis.

Gyrovirus 3 (GyV3) has been identified in faeces from children with acute gastroenteritis. However, whether GyV3 is prevalent in poultry has not been determined to date. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to isolate GyV3 from commercial broiler chickens with transmissible viral proventriculitis (TVP) in China. The complete genome of the virus shares 98.4% sequence identity with the FecGy strain that causes acute gastroenteritis in children. Epidemiological investigation from 2013 to 2017 revealed that the infection rate of GyV3 reached 12.5% (42/336) in commercial broiler chickens with TVP, indicating that the infection of GyV3 was…

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September 6, 2018

Complete genome sequence of herpes simplex virus 2 strain 333.

Herpes simplex virus 2, or human herpesvirus 2, is a ubiquitous human pathogen that causes genital ulcerations and establishes latency in sacral root ganglia. We fully sequenced and manually curated the viral genome sequence of herpes simplex virus 2, strain 333 using Pacific Biosciences and Illumina sequencing technologies.

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June 1, 2018

Diversity and evolution of the emerging Pandoraviridae family.

With DNA genomes reaching 2.5?Mb packed in particles of bacterium-like shape and dimension, the first two Acanthamoeba-infecting pandoraviruses remained up to now the most complex viruses since their discovery in 2013. Our isolation of three new strains from distant locations and environments is now used to perform the first comparative genomics analysis of the emerging worldwide-distributed Pandoraviridae family. Thorough annotation of the genomes combining transcriptomic, proteomic, and bioinformatic analyses reveals many non-coding transcripts and significantly reduces the former set of predicted protein-coding genes. Here we show that the pandoraviruses exhibit an open pan-genome, the enormous size of which is not…

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June 1, 2018

Unexpected invasion of miniature inverted-repeat transposable elements in viral genomes

Transposable elements (TEs) are common and often present with high copy numbers in cellular genomes. Unlike in cellular organisms, TEs were previously thought to be either rare or absent in viruses. Almost all reported TEs display only one or two copies per viral genome. In addition, the discovery of pandoraviruses with genomes up to 2.5-Mb emphasizes the need for biologists to rethink the fundamental nature of the relationship between viruses and cellular life.

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June 1, 2018

A genome comparison of T7-like Podoviruses that infect Caulobacter crescentus.

Bacteriophages remain an understudied component of bacterial communities. Therefore, our laboratory has initiated an effort to isolate large numbers of bacteriophages that infect Caulobacter crescentus to provide an estimate of the diversity of bacteriophages that infect this common environmental bacterium. The majority of the new isolates are phicbkviruses, a genus of giant viruses that appear to be Caulobacter specific. However, we have also isolated several Podoviruses with icosahedral heads and small tails. One of these Podoviruses, designated Lullwater, is similar to two previously isolated Caulobacter phages, Cd1 and Percy. All three have genomes that are approximately 45 kb and contain approximately…

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June 1, 2018

Comprehensive analysis of single molecule sequencing-derived complete genome and whole transcriptome of Hyposidra talaca nuclear polyhedrosis virus.

We sequenced the Hyposidra talaca NPV (HytaNPV) double stranded circular DNA genome using PacBio single molecule sequencing technology. We found that the HytaNPV genome is 139,089?bp long with a GC content of 39.6%. It encodes 141 open reading frames (ORFs) including the 37 baculovirus core genes, 25 genes conserved among lepidopteran baculoviruses, 72 genes known in baculovirus, and 7 genes unique to the HytaNPV genome. It is a group II alphabaculovirus that codes for the F protein and lacks the gp64 gene found in group I alphabaculovirus viruses. Using RNA-seq, we confirmed the expression of the ORFs identified in the…

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April 3, 2018

Rapid CRISPR/Cas9-mediated cloning of full-length Epstein-Barr virus genomes from latently infected cells.

Herpesviruses have relatively large DNA genomes of more than 150 kb that are difficult to clone and sequence. Bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) cloning of herpesvirus genomes is a powerful technique that greatly facilitates whole viral genome sequencing as well as functional characterization of reconstituted viruses. We describe recently invented technologies for rapid BAC cloning of herpesvirus genomes using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-directed repair. We focus on recent BAC cloning techniques of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes and discuss the possible advantages of a CRISPR/Cas9-mediated strategy comparatively with precedent EBV-BAC cloning strategies. We also describe the design decisions of this technology as well as…

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March 1, 2018

Transmission, evolution, and endogenization: Lessons learned from recent retroviral invasions.

Viruses of the subfamily Orthoretrovirinaeare defined by the ability to reverse transcribe an RNA genome into DNA that integrates into the host cell genome during the intracellular virus life cycle. Exogenous retroviruses (XRVs) are horizontally transmitted between host individuals, with disease outcome depending on interactions between the retrovirus and the host organism. When retroviruses infect germ line cells of the host, they may become endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), which are permanent elements in the host germ line that are subject to vertical transmission. These ERVs sometimes remain infectious and can themselves give rise to XRVs. This review integrates recent developments in…

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