Identification of two novel CRESS DNA viruses associated with an Avipoxvirus lesion of a blue-and-gray Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)

Michaël A.J. Moens, Javier Pérez-Tris, Martí Cortey, Laura Benítez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2018 Elsevier B.V. The discovery of circular rep-encoding single stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses has increased spectacularly over the past decade. They represent the smallest animal viruses known worldwide infecting a wide variety of invertebrates and vertebrates in different natural and human-made environments. The extremely low similarity of nucleotide and protein sequences among different CRESS DNA genomes has challenged their classification. Moreover, the existence of capsid proteins (Cp) remains difficult to demonstrate which is crucial to understand the structural properties of these viruses. Here we describe two unclassified CRESS DNA viruses isolated from a cutaneous lesion, caused by a strain of Avipoxvirus, from a blue-and-gray tanager (Thraupis episcopus) in Southern Ecuador. Both viruses present replication-associated proteins (Rep) and one to two open reading frames (ORF), one of which represents a putative Cp. The two new Rep are long proteins characterized by the existence of the several highly conserved amino acid residues characteristic of rolling circle replication. Within the putative Cp we detected intrinsically disordered regions (IDR), potential protein and DNA binding regions, and nuclear localization signals (NLS), providing further evidence of presumed Cp. Despite being found on the same host lesion, both viruses show low similarity between each other (<60%) and other known CRESS DNA viruses. Furthermore, we analyze the evolutionary relationships within the CRESS DNA diversity. Additional sampling is needed to explore the possible pathogenic effects, prevalence and diversity (both phylogenetical and structural) of these viruses in wild bird populations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-96
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
Volume60
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018

Keywords

  • CRESS DNA virus
  • Ecuador
  • Intrinsically disordered regions
  • Tanager

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