Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2: A New Virus among the Giant Viruses.
ABSTRACT: Giant viruses continue to invade the world of virology, in gigantic genome sizes and various particles shapes. Strains discoveries and metagenomic studies make it possible to reveal the complexity of these microorganisms, their origins, ecosystems and putative roles. We isolated from a rat stool sample a new giant virus "Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2," using Vermamoeba vermiformis as host cell. In this paper, we describe the main genomic features and replicative cycle of Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2. It possesses a circular genome exceeding 1.4 Megabases with 25% G+C content and ovoidal-shaped particles ranging from 900 to 1300 nm. Particles are closed by at least one thick membrane in a single ostiole-like shape in their apex. Phylogenetic analysis and the reciprocal best hit for Orpheovirus show a connection to the proposed Pithoviridae family. However, some genomic characteristics bear witness to a completely divergent evolution for Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2 when compared to Cedratviruses or Pithoviruses.
Project description:Most viruses are known for the ability to cause symptomatic diseases in humans and other animals. The discovery of Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus and other giant amoebal viruses revealed a considerable and previously unknown area of uncharacterized viral particles. Giant viruses have been isolated from various environmental samples collected from very distant geographic places, revealing a ubiquitous distribution. Their morphological and genomic features are fundamental elements for classifying them. Herein, we report the isolation and draft genome of Cedratvirus, a new amoebal giant virus isolated in Acanthamoeba castellanii, from an Algerian environmental sample. The viral particles are ovoid-shaped, resembling Pithovirus sibericum, but differing notably in the presence of two corks at each extremity of the virion. The draft genome of Cedratvirus-589,068 base pairs in length-is a close relative of the two previously described pithoviruses, sharing 104 and 113 genes with P. sibericum and Pithovirus massiliensis genomes, respectively. Interestingly, analysis of these viruses' core genome reveals that only 21% of Cedratvirus genes are involved in best reciprocal hits with the two pithoviruses. Phylogeny reconstructions and comparative genomics indicate that Cedratvirus is most closely related to pithoviruses, and questions their membership in an enlarged putative Pithoviridae family.
Project description:Since Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) was identified in 2003, several other giant viruses of amoebae have been isolated, highlighting the uniqueness of this group. In this context, the tupanviruses were recently isolated from extreme environments in Brazil, presenting virions with an outstanding tailed structure and genomes containing the most complete set of translation genes of the virosphere. Unlike other giant viruses of amoebae, tupanviruses present a broad host range, being able to replicate not only in Acanthamoeba sp. but also in other amoebae, such as Vermamoeba vermiformis, a widespread, free-living organism. Although the Tupanvirus cycle in A. castellanii has been analyzed, there are no studies concerning the replication of tupanviruses in other host cells. Here, we present an in-depth microscopic study of the replication cycle of Tupanvirus in V. vermiformis. Our results reveal that Tupanvirus can enter V. vermiformis and generate new particles with similar morphology to when infecting A. castellanii cells. Tupanvirus establishes a well-delimited electron-dense viral factory in V. vermiformis, surrounded by lamellar structures, which appears different when compared with different A. castellanii cells. Moreover, viral morphogenesis occurs entirely in the host cytoplasm within the viral factory, from where complete particles, including the capsid and tail, are sprouted. Some of these particles have larger tails, which we named "supertupans." Finally, we observed the formation of defective particles, presenting abnormalities of the tail and/or capsid. Taken together, the data presented here contribute to a better understanding of the biology of tupanviruses in previously unexplored host cells.
Project description:Nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses are doubled stranded DNA viruses capable of infecting eukaryotic cells. Since the discovery of Mimivirus and Pandoravirus, there has been no doubt about their extraordinary features compared to "classic" viruses. Recently, we reported the expansion of the proposed family Pithoviridae, with the description of Cedratvirus and Orpheovirus, two new viruses related to Pithoviruses. Studying the major capsid protein of Orpheovirus, we detected a homologous sequence in a mine drainage metagenome. The in-depth exploration of this metagenome, using the MG-Digger program, enabled us to retrieve up to 10 contigs with clear evidence of viral sequences. Moreover, phylogenetic analyses further extended our screening with the discovery in another marine metagenome of a second virus closely related to Orpheovirus IHUMI-LCC2. This virus is a misidentified virus confused with and annotated as a Rickettsiales bacterium. It presents a partial genome size of about 170 kbp.
Project description:Viruses depend on cells to replicate and can cause considerable damage to their hosts. However, hosts have developed a plethora of antiviral mechanisms to counterattack or prevent viral replication and to maintain homeostasis. Advantageous features are constantly being selected, affecting host-virus interactions and constituting a harsh race for supremacy in nature. Here, we describe a new antiviral mechanism unveiled by the interaction between a giant virus and its amoebal host. Faustovirus mariensis infects Vermamoeba vermiformis, a free-living amoeba, and induces cell lysis to disseminate into the environment. Once infected, the cells release a soluble factor that triggers the encystment of neighbor cells, preventing their infection. Remarkably, infected cells stimulated by the factor encyst and trap the viruses and viral factories inside cyst walls, which are no longer viable and cannot excyst. This unprecedented mechanism illustrates that a plethora of antiviral strategies remains to be discovered in nature.IMPORTANCE Understanding how viruses of microbes interact with its hosts is not only important from a basic scientific point of view but also for a better comprehension of the evolution of life. Studies involving large and giant viruses have revealed original and outstanding mechanisms concerning virus-host relationships. Here, we report a mechanism developed by Vermamoeba vermiformis, a free-living amoeba, to reduce Faustovirus mariensis dissemination. Once infected, V. vermiformis cells release a factor that induces the encystment of neighbor cells, preventing infection of further cells and/or trapping the viruses and viral factories inside the cyst walls. This phenomenon reinforces the need for more studies regarding large/giant viruses and their hosts.
Project description:Vermamoeba vermiformis is a predominant free-living amoeba in human environments and amongst the most common amoebae that can cause severe infections in humans. It is a niche for numerous amoeba-resisting microorganisms such as bacteria and giant viruses. Differences in the susceptibility to these giant viruses have been observed. V. vermiformis and amoeba-resisting microorganisms share a sympatric lifestyle that can promote exchanges of genetic material. This work analyzed the first draft genome sequence of a V. vermiformis strain (CDC-19) through comparative genomic, transcriptomic and phylogenetic analyses. The genome of V. vermiformis is 59.5 megabase pairs in size, and 22,483 genes were predicted. A high proportion (10% (n?=?2,295)) of putative genes encoded proteins showed the highest sequence homology with a bacterial sequence. The expression of these genes was demonstrated for some bacterial homologous genes. In addition, for 30 genes, we detected best BLAST hits with members of the Candidate Phyla Radiation. Moreover, 185 genes (0.8%) best matched with giant viruses, mostly those related to the subfamily Klosneuvirinae (101 genes), in particular Bodo saltans virus (69 genes). Lateral sequence transfers between V. vermiformis and amoeba-resisting microorganisms were strengthened by Sanger sequencing, transcriptomic and phylogenetic analyses. This work provides important insights and genetic data for further studies about this amoeba and its interactions with microorganisms.
Project description:The family of giant viruses is still expanding, and evidence of a translational machinery is emerging in the virosphere. The Klosneuvirinae group of giant viruses was first reconstructed from in silico studies, and then a unique member was isolated, Bodo saltans virus. Here we describe the isolation of a new member in this group using coculture with the free-living amoeba Vermamoeba vermiformis This giant virus, called Yasminevirus, has a 2.1-Mb linear double-stranded DNA genome encoding 1,541 candidate proteins, with a GC content estimated at 40.2%. Yasminevirus possesses a nearly complete translational machinery, with a set of 70 tRNAs associated with 45 codons and recognizing 20 amino acids (aa), 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRSs) recognizing 20 aa, as well as several translation factors and elongation factors. At the genome scale, evolutionary analyses placed this virus in the Klosneuvirinae group of giant viruses. Rhizome analysis demonstrated that the genome of Yasminevirus is mosaic, with ?34% of genes having their closest homologues in other viruses, followed by ?13.2% in Eukaryota, ?7.2% in Bacteria, and less than 1% in Archaea Among giant virus sequences, Yasminevirus shared 87% of viral hits with Klosneuvirinae. This description of Yasminevirus sheds light on the Klosneuvirinae group in a captivating quest to understand the evolution and diversity of giant viruses.IMPORTANCE Yasminevirus is an icosahedral double-stranded DNA virus isolated from sewage water by amoeba coculture. Here its structure and replicative cycle in the amoeba Vermamoeba vermiformis are described and genomic and evolutionary studies are reported. This virus belongs to the Klosneuvirinae group of giant viruses, representing the second isolated and cultivated giant virus in this group, and is the first isolated using a coculture procedure. Extended translational machinery pointed to Yasminevirus among the quasiautonomous giant viruses with the most complete translational apparatus of the known virosphere.
Project description:Faustovirus, a new Asfarviridae-related giant virus, was recently isolated in Vermamoeba vermiformis, a protist found in sewage water in various geographical locations and occasionally reported in human eye infection cases. As part of a global metagenomic analysis of viral communities existing in biting midges, we report here for the first time the identification and isolation of a Faustovirus-like virus in hematophagous arthropods and its detection in their animal hosts. The DNA virome analysis of three pools of Culicoides sp., engorged female Culicoides imicola and non-engorged male/female C. imicola biting midges collected in Senegal, revealed the presence of amoeba-infecting giant viruses and, among them, a majority of sequences related to Faustovirus. Phylogenetic analyses conducted on several structural genes of Faustovirus confirmed the clustering of the arthropod-borne Faustovirus with sewage-borne Faustoviruses, with a distinct geographical clustering of Senegalese Faustovirus strains. Transmission electron microscopy identified viral particles with morphologies and diameters which were compatible with Faustovirus. The presence of infectious arthropod-borne Faustovirus was finally confirmed by successful isolation on V. vermiformis amoeba. Global proteomic analysis of biting midges identified that arthropods' blood meal originating from cattle, rodents and humans. Further screening of cattle sera and rodent tissue resulted in prevalence of Faustovirus being estimated at 38% in rodents and 14% in cattle, suggesting a possible origin of Faustovirus presence in arthropods via the ingestion of contaminated blood meal. Viral loads were the highest in rodents' urine and kidney samples, suggesting a possible excretion of viral particles into the environment. Faustovirus DNA polymerase-related sequences were also detected in more than 9 and 11% of febrile patients and healthy Senegalese human sera, respectively. Our study thus, highlights the need to investigate the role of arthropods, wildlife, and domestic animals in the lifecycle of amoeba-infecting giant viruses and, in particular, the environmental cycle of Faustovirus.
Project description:Giant viruses have been isolated and characterized in different environments, expanding our knowledge about the biology of these unique microorganisms. In the last 2 years, a new group was discovered, the cedratviruses, currently composed of only two isolates and members of a putative new family, "Pithoviridae," along with previously known pithoviruses. Here we report the isolation and biological and genomic characterization of two novel cedratviruses isolated from samples collected in France and Brazil. Both viruses were isolated using Acanthamoeba castellanii as a host cell and exhibit ovoid particles with corks at either extremity of the particle. Curiously, the Brazilian cedratvirus is ?20% smaller and presents a shorter genome of 460,038 bp, coding for fewer proteins than other cedratviruses. In addition, it has a completely asyntenic genome and presents a lower amino acid identity of orthologous genes (?73%). Pangenome analysis comprising the four cedratviruses revealed an increase in the pangenome concomitant with a decrease in the core genome with the addition of the two novel viruses. Finally, phylogenetic analyses clustered the Brazilian virus in a separate branch within the group of cedratviruses, while the French isolate is closer to the previously reported Cedratvirus lausannensis Taking all together, we propose the existence of a second lineage of this emerging viral genus and provide new insights into the biodiversity and ubiquity of these giant viruses.IMPORTANCE Various giant viruses have been described in recent years, revealing a unique part of the virosphere. A new group among the giant viruses has recently been described, the cedratviruses, which is currently composed of only two isolates. In this paper, we describe two novel cedratviruses isolated from French and Brazilian samples. Biological and genomic analyses showed viruses with different particle sizes, genome lengths, and architecture, revealing the existence of a second lineage of this new group of giant viruses. Our results provide new insights into the biodiversity of cedratviruses and highlight the importance of ongoing efforts to prospect for and characterize new giant viruses.
Project description:The isolation of giant viruses is of great interest in this new era of virology, especially since these giant viruses are related to protists. Giant viruses may be potentially pathogenic for many species of protists. They belong to the recently described order of Megavirales. The new lineage Faustovirus that has been isolated from sewage samples is distantly related to the mammalian pathogen African swine fever virus. This virus is also specific to its amoebal host, Vermamoeba vermiformis, a protist common in health care water systems. It is crucial to continue isolating new Faustovirus genotypes in order to enlarge its genotype collection and study its pan-genome. We developed new strategies for the isolation of additional strains by improving the use of antibiotic and antifungal combinations in order to avoid bacterial and fungal contaminations of the amoeba co-culture and favoring the virus multiplication. We also implemented a new starvation medium to maintain V. vermiformis in optimal conditions for viruses co-culture. Finally, we used flow cytometry rather than microscopic observation, which is time-consuming, to detect the cytopathogenic effect. We obtained two isolates from sewage samples, proving the efficiency of this method and thus widening the collection of Faustoviruses, to better understand their environment, host specificity and genetic content.
Project description:In this study, we report the isolation of a new giant virus found in sewage water from the southern area of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), with morphological and genomic resemblance to Faustoviruses. This new giant virus, named Kaumoebavirus, was obtained from co-culture with Vermamoeba vermiformis, an amoeboid protozoa considered to be of special interest to human health and the environment. This new virus has ~250 nm icosahedral capsids and a 350,731 bp DNA genome length. The genome of Kaumoebavirus has a coding density of 86%, corresponding to 465 genes. Most of these genes (59%) are closely related to genes from members of the proposed order Megavirales, and the best matches to its proteins with other members of the Megavirales are Faustoviruses (43%) and Asfarviruses (23%). Unsurprisingly, phylogenetic reconstruction places Kaumoebavirus as a distant relative of Faustoviruses and Asfarviruses.