Special Issue "Viromics"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jennifer R. Brum
Guest Editor
Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
Interests: microbial oceanography; viral ecology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Simon Roux
Guest Editor
DOE Joint Genome Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Walnut Creek, CA, 94598, USA
Interests: viral diversity; virus evolution; viruses of microbes; metagenomics; bioinformatics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last 15 years, advances in viral metagenomics have contributed to the fast growth of, and many paradigm-shifting discoveries in, several fields of virology, including viral ecology and viral evolution. What started in marine environments and human microbiomes has now expanded to cover virtually all habitats and sample types. With the continuous development of new experimental and computational methods, the range of research questions that can be addressed through viromics approaches is also progressively expanding beyond descriptive studies. For instance, viromics is now used to investigate eco-evolutionary drivers of environmental viral communities, assess potential impacts of viruses on microbial metabolism, and detect known and/or novel pathogens. For the second edition of the “Viromics” Special Issue, we welcome submissions that cover new approaches, significant advances, and applications in any area of viromics.

Dr. Jennifer R. Brum
Dr. Simon Roux
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • metagenomics
  • viromics
  • viral ecology
  • virus discovery
  • pathogen surveillance
  • computational approaches in viromics

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Identification and Distribution of Novel Cressdnaviruses and Circular molecules in Four Penguin Species in South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula
Viruses 2020, 12(9), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12091029 - 16 Sep 2020
There is growing interest in uncovering the viral diversity present in wild animal species. The remote Antarctic region is home to a wealth of uncovered microbial diversity, some of which is associated with its megafauna, including penguin species, the dominant avian biota. Penguins [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in uncovering the viral diversity present in wild animal species. The remote Antarctic region is home to a wealth of uncovered microbial diversity, some of which is associated with its megafauna, including penguin species, the dominant avian biota. Penguins interface with a number of other biota in their roles as marine mesopredators and several species overlap in their ranges and habitats. To characterize the circular single-stranded viruses related to those in the phylum Cressdnaviricota from these environmental sentinel species, cloacal swabs (n = 95) were obtained from King Penguins in South Georgia, and congeneric Adélie Penguins, Chinstrap Penguins, and Gentoo Penguins across the South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. Using a combination of high-throughput sequencing, abutting primers-based PCR recovery of circular genomic elements, cloning, and Sanger sequencing, we detected 97 novel sequences comprising 40 ssDNA viral genomes and 57 viral-like circular molecules from 45 individual penguins. We present their detection patterns, with Chinstrap Penguins harboring the highest number of new sequences. The novel Antarctic viruses identified appear to be host-specific, while one circular molecule was shared between sympatric Chinstrap and Gentoo Penguins. We also report viral genotype sharing between three adult-chick pairs, one in each Pygoscelid species. Sequence similarity network approaches coupled with Maximum likelihood phylogenies of the clusters indicate the 40 novel viral genomes do not fall within any known viral families and likely fall within the recently established phylum Cressdnaviricota based on their replication-associated protein sequences. Similarly, 83 capsid protein sequences encoded by the viruses or viral-like circular molecules identified in this study do not cluster with any of those encoded by classified viral groups. Further research is warranted to expand knowledge of the Antarctic virome and would help elucidate the importance of viral-like molecules in vertebrate host evolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viromics)
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