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Open AccessArticle

Distribution and Inferred Evolutionary Characteristics of a Chimeric ssDNA Virus Associated with Intertidal Marine Isopods

1
Department of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
2
New Visions Life Sciences, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services of New York State, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
3
University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403, USA
4
Department of Natural Resources and the Cornell Biological Field Station, Cornell University, Bridgeport, NY 14850, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2017, 9(12), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/v9120361
Received: 26 October 2017 / Revised: 22 November 2017 / Accepted: 23 November 2017 / Published: 26 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viral Recombination: Ecology, Evolution and Pathogenesis)
Aquatic invertebrates are common reservoirs of a rapidly expanding group of circular Rep-encoding ssDNA (CRESS-DNA) viruses. This study identified and explored the phylogenetic relationship between novel CRESS-DNA viral genotypes associated with Pacific intertidal isopods Idotea wosnesenskii, Idotea resecata, and Gnorimosphaeroma oregonensis. One genotype associated with I. wosnesenskii, IWaV278, shared sequence similarity and genomic features with Tombusviridae (ssRNA) and Circoviridae (ssDNA) genomes and was putatively assigned to the Cruciviridae clade comprising chimeric viruses. The complete genome of IWaV278 (3478 nt) was computationally completed, validated via Sanger sequencing, and exhibited sequence conservation and codon usage patterns analogous to other members of the Cruciviridae. Viral surveillance (qPCR) indicated that this virus was temporally transient (present in 2015, but not 2017), specific to I. wosnesenskii at a single collection site (Washington, DC, USA), more prevalent among male specimens, and frequently detected within exoskeletal structures. 18S rRNA sequences identified two alveolate protists associated with IWaV278-positive tissues and mechanical epibiont removal of ciliated exoskeletal structures eliminated viral detection, suggesting that the putative host of IWaV278 may be an epibiont of I. wosnesenskii. This investigation provides additional phylogenetic evidence to resolve Cruciviridae evolution and offers insight into the biogeography, specificity, and potential host of a crucivirus genotype. View Full-Text
Keywords: ssDNA virus; viromics; isopod; chimeric; intertidal; Cruciviridae; CRESS-DNA ssDNA virus; viromics; isopod; chimeric; intertidal; Cruciviridae; CRESS-DNA
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Bistolas, K.S.I.; Besemer, R.M.; Rudstam, L.G.; Hewson, I. Distribution and Inferred Evolutionary Characteristics of a Chimeric ssDNA Virus Associated with Intertidal Marine Isopods. Viruses 2017, 9, 361.

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