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Open AccessArticle

Single-Stranded DNA Viruses in Antarctic Cryoconite Holes

1
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA
2
The Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Center for Evolution and Medicine, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-5001, USA
3
Entomology and Nematology Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4
Division of Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
5
Structural Biology Research Unit, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory, Cape Town 7701, South Africa
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(11), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11111022
Received: 13 October 2019 / Revised: 28 October 2019 / Accepted: 31 October 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viromics: Approaches, Advances, and Applications)
Antarctic cryoconite holes, or small melt-holes in the surfaces of glaciers, create habitable oases for isolated microbial communities with tightly linked microbial population structures. Viruses may influence the dynamics of polar microbial communities, but the viromes of the Antarctic cryoconite holes have yet to be characterized. We characterize single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses from three cryoconite holes in the Taylor Valley, Antarctica, using metagenomics. Half of the assembled metagenomes cluster with those in the viral family Microviridae (n = 7), and the rest with unclassified circular replication associated protein (Rep)-encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses (n = 7). An additional 18 virus-like circular molecules encoding either a Rep, a capsid protein gene, or other unidentified but viral-like open reading frames were identified. The samples from which the genomes were identified show a strong gradient in microbial diversity and abundances, and the number of viral genomes detected in each sample mirror that gradient. Additionally, one of the CRESS genomes assembled here shares ~90% genome-wide pairwise identity with a virus identified from a freshwater pond on the McMurdo Ice Shelf (Antarctica). Otherwise, the similarity of these viruses to those previously identified is relatively low. Together, these patterns are consistent with the presence of a unique regional virome present in fresh water host populations of the McMurdo Dry Valley region. View Full-Text
Keywords: microvirus; CRESS DNA virus; cryoconite; glacier; viral metagenomics; Antarctica microvirus; CRESS DNA virus; cryoconite; glacier; viral metagenomics; Antarctica
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Sommers, P.; Fontenele, R.S.; Kringen, T.; Kraberger, S.; Porazinska, D.L.; Darcy, J.L.; Schmidt, S.K.; Varsani, A. Single-Stranded DNA Viruses in Antarctic Cryoconite Holes. Viruses 2019, 11, 1022.

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