The Challenges of Analysing Highly Diverse Picobirnavirus Sequence Data.
ABSTRACT: The reliable identification and classification of infectious diseases is critical for understanding their biology and controlling their impact. Recent advances in sequencing technology have allowed insight into the remarkable diversity of the virosphere, of which a large component remains undiscovered. For these emerging or undescribed viruses, the process of classifying unknown sequences is heavily reliant on existing nucleotide sequence information in public databases. However, due to the enormous diversity of viruses, and past focus on the most prevalent and impactful virus types, databases are often incomplete. Picobirnaviridae is a dsRNA virus family with broad host and geographic range, but with relatively little sequence information in public databases. The family contains one genus, Picobirnavirus, which may be associated with gastric illness in humans and animals. Little further information is available due in part to difficulties in identification. Here, we investigate diversity both within the genus Picobirnavirus and among other dsRNA virus types using a combined phylogenetic and functional (protein structure homology-modelling) approach. Our results show that diversity within picobirnavirus exceeds that seen between many other dsRNA genera. Furthermore, we find that commonly used practices employed to classify picobirnavirus, such as analysis of short fragments and trimming of sequences, can influence phylogenetic conclusions. The degree of phylogenetic and functional divergence among picobirnavirus sequences in our study suggests an enormous undiscovered diversity, which contributes to the undescribed "viral dark matter" component of metagenomic studies.
Project description:Double-stranded (ds) RNA virus particles are organized around a central icosahedral core capsid made of 120 identical subunits. This core capsid is unable to invade cells from outside, and animal dsRNA viruses have acquired surrounding capsid layers that are used to deliver a transcriptionally active core particle across the membrane during cell entry. In contrast, dsRNA viruses infecting primitive eukaryotes have only a simple core capsid, and as a consequence are transmitted only vertically. Here, we report the 3.4 A X-ray structure of a picobirnavirus--an animal dsRNA virus associated with diarrhoea and gastroenteritis in humans. The structure shows a simple core capsid with a distinctive icosahedral arrangement, displaying 60 two-fold symmetric dimers of a coat protein (CP) with a new 3D-fold. We show that, as many non-enveloped animal viruses, CP undergoes an autoproteolytic cleavage, releasing a post-translationally modified peptide that remains associated with nucleic acid within the capsid. Our data also show that picobirnavirus particles are capable of disrupting biological membranes in vitro, indicating that its simple 120-subunits capsid has evolved animal cell invasion properties.
Project description:It is important to identify viruses in animals because most infectious diseases in humans are caused by viruses of zoonotic origin. African green monkey is a widely used non-human primate model in biomedical investigations. In this study, total RNAs were extracted from stool samples of 10 African green monkeys with diarrhea. High-throughput sequencing was used to characterize viromes. PCR and Sanger sequencing were used to determine the full genome sequences. Great viral diversity was observed. The dominant viruses were enteroviruses and picobirnaviruses. Six enterovirus genomes and a picobirnavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence were characterized. Five enteroviruses belonged to two putative new genotypes of species Enterovirus J. One enterovirus belonged to EV-A92. The picobirnavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase sequence had the highest nucleotide similarity (93.48%) with human picobirnavirus isolate GPBV6C2. The present study helped to identify the potential zoonotic viruses in African green monkeys. Further investigations are required to elucidate their pathogenic roles in animals and humans.
Project description:Filamentous fungus Fusarium poae is a worldwide cause of the economically important disease Fusarium head blight of cereal grains. The fungus is itself commonly infected with a bisegmented dsRNA virus from the family Partitiviridae. For this study, we determined the structure of partitivirus Fusarium poae virus 1 (FpV1) to a resolution of 5.6Å or better by electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction. The main structural features of FpV1 are consistent with those of two other fungal partitiviruses for which high-resolution structures have been recently reported. These shared features include a 120-subunit T=1 capsid comprising 60 quasisymmetrical capsid protein dimers with both shell and protruding domains. Distinguishing features are evident throughout the FpV1 capsid, however, consistent with its more massive subunits and its greater phylogenetic divergence relative to the other two structurally characterized partitiviruses. These results broaden our understanding of conserved and variable elements of fungal partitivirus structure, as well as that of vertebrate picobirnavirus, and support the suggestion that a phylogenetic subcluster of partitiviruses closely related to FpV1 should constitute a separate taxonomic genus.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) associated with viral gastroenteritis were reported from humans and several animal species to date. PBVs belonging to family Picobirnaviridae under proposed order Diplornavirales are small, non-enveloped, with bisegmented dsRNA genome. METHODS: PBV was detected by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and silver staining. Confirmatory RT-PCR using primer pair PicoB25 (+) and PicoB43 (-) for genogroup I PBV and PicoB23(+) and PicoB24(-) for genogroup II PBV, resulted in amplicons of 201bp and 369bp respectively. The amplicons of genogroup I PBV were cloned and sequenced; amplicon of genogroup II PBV was directly sequenced. Further, the phylogenetic relationship and genetic diversity of strains from Kolkata was compared with hitherto reported PBV strains. RESULTS: In PAGE, a faecal specimen showed three sets of PBV with large profile bisegmented genomic RNA with slight variation in migration pattern. Molecular cloning experiments confirmed that PBV/ Human/INDIA/GPBV6/2007 had mixed infection comprising four different strains of PBV genogroup I [GPBV6C1P-GPBV6C4P] and one PBV genogroup II strain [GPBV6G2P]. CONCLUSION: Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analysis of gene segment 2 of GPBV6 clones (C1, C2, C3 and C4) revealed low nucleotide identities (59-63%) and distant genetic relatedness to other human and porcine genogroup I picobirnaviruses. The strain GPBV6G2P represents another PBV genogroup II strain after prototype strain 4-GA-91/USA as genogroup II PBVs have seldom been reported to date, except from Kolkata, India and Netherlands. We are reporting the first incidence of detection of multiple strain (mixed) infection of picobirnavirus [genogroups I and II] from a diarrhoeic child in a slum community of Kolkata, India.
Project description:Advances in Next Generation Sequencing technologies have enabled the generation of millions of sequences from microorganisms. However, distinguishing the sequence of a novel species from sequencing errors remains a technical challenge when the novel species is highly divergent from the closest known species. To solve such a problem, we developed a new method called Optimistic Protein Assembly from Reads (OPAR). This method is based on the assumption that protein sequences could be more conserved than the nucleotide sequences encoding them. By taking advantage of metagenomics, bioinformatics and conventional Sanger sequencing, our method successfully identified all coding regions of the mouse picobirnavirus for the first time. The salvaged sequences indicated that segment 1 of this virus was more divergent from its homologues in other Picobirnaviridae species than segment 2. For this reason, only segment 2 of mouse picobirnavirus has been detected in previous studies. OPAR web tool is available at http://bioinformatics.czc.hokudai.ac.jp/opar/.
Project description:We discovered a novel otarine picobirnavirus in fecal samples of California sea lions. Its genome contains a large segment with two open reading frames (ORFs), ORF1 encoding a putative protein of 163 amino acids with unknown function and ORF2 encoding capsid protein, and a small segment with one ORF encoding RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.
Project description:The Holozoa clade comprises animals and several unicellular lineages (choanoflagellates, filastereans, and teretosporeans). Understanding their full diversity is essential to address the origins of animals and other evolutionary questions. However, they are poorly known. To provide more insights into the real diversity of holozoans and check for undiscovered diversity, we here analyzed 18S rDNA metabarcoding data from the global Tara Oceans expedition. To overcome the low phylogenetic information contained in the metabarcoding data set (composed of sequences from the short V9 region of the gene), we used similarity networks by combining two data sets: unknown environmental sequences from Tara Oceans and known reference sequences from GenBank. We then calculated network metrics to compare environmental sequences with reference sequences. These metrics reflected the divergence between both types of sequences and provided an effective way to search for evolutionary relevant diversity, further validated by phylogenetic placements. Our results showed that the percentage of unicellular holozoan diversity remains hidden. We found novelties in several lineages, especially in Acanthoecida choanoflagellates. We also identified a potential new holozoan group that could not be assigned to any of the described extant clades. Data on geographical distribution showed that, although ubiquitous, each unicellular holozoan lineage exhibits a different distribution pattern. We also identified a positive association between new animal hosts and the ichthyosporean symbiont Creolimax fragrantissima, as well as for other holozoans previously reported as free-living. Overall, our analyses provide a fresh perspective into the diversity and ecology of unicellular holozoans, highlighting the amount of undescribed diversity.
Project description:Genome sequence of viruses can contribute greatly to the study of viral evolution, diversity and the interaction between viruses and hosts. Traditional molecular cloning methods for obtaining RNA viral genomes are time-consuming and often difficult because many viruses occur in extremely low titers. DsRNA viruses in the families, Partitiviridae, Totiviridae, Endornaviridae, Chrysoviridae, and other related unclassified dsRNA viruses are generally associated with symptomless or persistent infections of their hosts. These characteristics indicate that samples or materials derived from eukaryotic organisms used to construct cDNA libraries and EST sequencing might carry these viruses, which were not easily detected by the researchers. Therefore, the EST databases may include numerous unknown viral sequences. In this study, we performed in silico cloning, a procedure for obtaining full or partial cDNA sequence of a gene by bioinformatics analysis, using known dsRNA viral sequences as queries to search against NCBI Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) database. From this analysis, we obtained 119 novel virus-like sequences related to members of the families, Endornaviridae, Chrysoviridae, Partitiviridae, and Totiviridae. Many of them were identified in cDNA libraries of eukaryotic lineages, which were not known to be hosts for these viruses. Furthermore, comprehensive phylogenetic analysis of these newly discovered virus-like sequences with known dsRNA viruses revealed that these dsRNA viruses may have co-evolved with respective host supergroups over a long evolutionary time while potential horizontal transmissions of viruses between different host supergroups also is possible. We also found that some of the plant partitiviruses may have originated from fungal viruses by horizontal transmissions. These findings extend our knowledge of the diversity and possible host range of dsRNA viruses and offer insight into the origin and evolution of relevant viruses with their hosts.
Project description:Culture-independent molecular phylogenetic methods were used to explore the breadth of diversity and environmental distribution of members of the division-level "candidate" phylogenetic group WS6, recently discovered in a contaminated aquifer and with no cultivated representatives. A broad diversity of WS6-affiliated sequences were cloned from 7 of 12 environments investigated: mainly from anaerobic sediment environments. The number of sequences representing the WS6 candidate division was increased from 3 to 60 in this study. The extent of phylogenetic divergence (sequence difference) in this candidate division was found to be among the largest of any known bacterial division. This indicates that organisms representing the WS6 phylogenetic division offer a broad diversity of undiscovered biochemical and metabolic novelty. These results provide a framework for the further study of these evidently important kinds of organisms and tools, the sequences, with which to do so.