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Open AccessArticle

Diversity and Evolution of Novel Invertebrate DNA Viruses Revealed by Meta-Transcriptomics

Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, Charles Perkins Centre, School of Life & Environmental Sciences and Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Centre for Virus Research, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia
Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center and School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 201500, China
Department of Zoonosis, National Institute for Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Changping, Beijing 102206, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(12), 1092;
Received: 17 October 2019 / Revised: 22 November 2019 / Accepted: 23 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Insect Viruses)
DNA viruses comprise a wide array of genome structures and infect diverse host species. To date, most studies of DNA viruses have focused on those with the strongest disease associations. Accordingly, there has been a marked lack of sampling of DNA viruses from invertebrates. Bulk RNA sequencing has resulted in the discovery of a myriad of novel RNA viruses, and herein we used this methodology to identify actively transcribing DNA viruses in meta-transcriptomic libraries of diverse invertebrate species. Our analysis revealed high levels of phylogenetic diversity in DNA viruses, including 13 species from the Parvoviridae, Circoviridae, and Genomoviridae families of single-stranded DNA virus families, and six double-stranded DNA virus species from the Nudiviridae, Polyomaviridae, and Herpesviridae, for which few invertebrate viruses have been identified to date. By incorporating the sequence of a “blank” experimental control we also highlight the importance of reagent contamination in metagenomic studies. In sum, this work expands our knowledge of the diversity and evolution of DNA viruses and illustrates the utility of meta-transcriptomic data in identifying organisms with DNA genomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA virus; invertebrates; meta-transcriptomics; evolution; circovirus; herpesvirus; contamination DNA virus; invertebrates; meta-transcriptomics; evolution; circovirus; herpesvirus; contamination
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Porter, A.F.; Shi, M.; Eden, J.-S.; Zhang, Y.-Z.; Holmes, E.C. Diversity and Evolution of Novel Invertebrate DNA Viruses Revealed by Meta-Transcriptomics. Viruses 2019, 11, 1092.

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