Next Article in Journal
Evaluation and Comparison of the Pathogenicity and Host Immune Responses Induced by a G2b Taiwan Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (Strain Pintung 52) and Its Highly Cell-Culture Passaged Strain in Conventional 5-Week-Old Pigs
Next Article in Special Issue
Bacterial Virus Ontology; Coordinating across Databases
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Variation in the Genetic Repertoire of Viruses Infecting Micromonas pusilla Reflects Horizontal Gene Transfer and Links to Their Environmental Distribution
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Viruses 2017, 9(5), 120;

Differentiation and Structure in Sulfolobus islandicus Rod-Shaped Virus Populations

Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 601 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Department of Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago, 5734 S. Ellis Ave., Chicago, IL 60637, USA
Department of Microbiome Science, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Spemannstraße 35, Tübingen 72076, Germany
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1206 W Gregory Dr, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Tessa E.F. Quax, Matthias G. Fischer and Laurent Debarbieux
Received: 17 March 2017 / Revised: 4 May 2017 / Accepted: 10 May 2017 / Published: 19 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viruses of Microbes)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3099 KB, uploaded 21 May 2017]   |  


In the past decade, molecular surveys of viral diversity have revealed that viruses are the most diverse and abundant biological entities on Earth. In culture, however, most viral isolates that infect microbes are represented by a few variants isolated on type strains, limiting our ability to study how natural variation affects virus-host interactions in the laboratory. We screened a set of 137 hot spring samples for viruses that infect a geographically diverse panel of the hyperthemophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus islandicus. We isolated and characterized eight SIRVs (Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped viruses) from two different regions within Yellowstone National Park (USA). Comparative genomics revealed that all SIRV sequenced isolates share 30 core genes that represent 50–60% of the genome. The core genome phylogeny, as well as the distribution of variable genes (shared by some but not all SIRVs) and the signatures of host-virus interactions recorded on the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) repeat-spacer arrays of S. islandicus hosts, identify different SIRV lineages, each associated with a different geographic location. Moreover, our studies reveal that SIRV core genes do not appear to be under diversifying selection and thus we predict that the abundant and diverse variable genes govern the coevolutionary arms race between SIRVs and their hosts. View Full-Text
Keywords: host-virus interactions; Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped virus; archaeal virus host-virus interactions; Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped virus; archaeal virus

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Bautista, M.A.; Black, J.A.; Youngblut, N.D.; Whitaker, R.J. Differentiation and Structure in Sulfolobus islandicus Rod-Shaped Virus Populations. Viruses 2017, 9, 120.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Viruses EISSN 1999-4915 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top