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New virus isolates from Italian hydrothermal environments underscore the biogeographic pattern in archaeal virus communities

Abstract : Viruses of hyperthermophilic archaea represent one of the least understood parts of the virosphere, showing little genomic and morphological similarity to viruses of bacteria or eukaryotes. Here, we investigated virus diversity in the active sulfurous fields of the Campi Flegrei volcano in Pozzuoli, Italy. Virus-like particles displaying eight different morphotypes, including lemon-shaped, droplet-shaped and bottle-shaped virions, were observed and five new archaeal viruses proposed to belong to families Rudiviridae, Globuloviridae and Tristromaviridae were isolated and characterized. Two of these viruses infect neutrophilic hyperthermophiles of the genus Pyrobaculum, whereas the remaining three have rod-shaped virions typical of the family Rudiviridae and infect acidophilic hyperthermophiles belonging to three different genera of the order Sulfolobales, namely, Saccharolobus, Acidianus, and Metallosphaera. Notably, Metallosphaera rod-shaped virus 1 is the first rudivirus isolated on Metallosphaera species. Phylogenomic analysis of the newly isolated and previously sequenced rudiviruses revealed a clear biogeographic pattern, with all Italian rudiviruses forming a monophyletic clade, suggesting geographical structuring of virus communities in extreme geothermal environments. Analysis of the CRISPR spacers suggests that isolated rudiviruses have experienced recent host switching across the genus boundary, potentially to escape the targeting by CRISPR-Cas immunity systems. Finally, we propose a revised classification of the Rudiviridae family, with the establishment of six new genera. Collectively, our results further show that high-temperature continental hydrothermal systems harbor a highly diverse virome and shed light on the evolution of archaeal viruses.
Keywords : Archaea Virology
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 2:43:29 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 3:14:03 AM

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Diana Baquero, Patrizia Contursi, Monica Piochi, Simonetta Bartolucci, Ying Liu, et al.. New virus isolates from Italian hydrothermal environments underscore the biogeographic pattern in archaeal virus communities. ISME Journal, Nature Publishing Group, 2020, [Epub ahead of print], ⟨10.1038/s41396-020-0653-z⟩. ⟨pasteur-02557115⟩

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