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Open AccessArticle

Unravelling the Single-Stranded DNA Virome of the New Zealand Blackfly

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
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand
Structural Biology Research Unit, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, Cape Town 7700, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(6), 532;
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 1 June 2019 / Accepted: 4 June 2019 / Published: 8 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viromics: Approaches, Advances, and Applications)
Over the last decade, arthropods have been shown to harbour a rich diversity of viruses. Through viral metagenomics a large diversity of single-stranded (ss) DNA viruses have been identified. Here we examine the ssDNA virome of the hematophagous New Zealand blackfly using viral metagenomics. Our investigation reveals a plethora of novel ssDNA viral genomes, some of which cluster in the viral families Genomoviridae (n = 9), Circoviridae (n = 1), and Microviridae (n = 108), others in putative families that, at present, remain unclassified (n = 20) and one DNA molecule that only encodes a replication associated protein. Among these novel viruses, two putative multi-component virus genomes were recovered, and these are most closely related to a Tongan flying fox faeces-associated multi-component virus. Given that the only other known multi-component circular replication-associated (Rep) protein encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses infecting plants are in the families Geminiviridae (members of the genus Begomovirus) and Nanoviridae, it appears these are likely a new multi-component virus group which may be associated with animals. This study reiterates the diversity of ssDNA viruses in nature and in particular with the New Zealand blackflies. View Full-Text
Keywords: blackfly; sandfly; Austrosimulium sp.; CRESS DNA virus; Circoviridae; Genomoviridae blackfly; sandfly; Austrosimulium sp.; CRESS DNA virus; Circoviridae; Genomoviridae
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Kraberger, S.; Schmidlin, K.; Fontenele, R.S.; Walters, M.; Varsani, A. Unravelling the Single-Stranded DNA Virome of the New Zealand Blackfly. Viruses 2019, 11, 532.

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