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Virol J. 2008 Jan 23;5:12. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-5-12.

Marine mimivirus relatives are probably large algal viruses.

Author information

1
Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory, CNRS-UPR 2589, IBSM, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, 163 avenue de Luminy, Case 934, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France. adam.monier@igs.cnrs-mrs.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus is the largest known ds-DNA virus and its 1.2 Mb-genome sequence has revealed many unique features. Mimivirus occupies an independent lineage among eukaryotic viruses and its known hosts include only species from the Acanthamoeba genus. The existence of mimivirus relatives was first suggested by the analysis of the Sargasso Sea metagenomic data.

RESULTS:

We now further demonstrate the presence of numerous "mimivirus-like" sequences using a larger marine metagenomic data set. We also show that the DNA polymerase sequences from three algal viruses (CeV01, PpV01, PoV01) infecting different marine algal species (Chrysochromulina ericina, Phaeocystis pouchetii, Pyramimonas orientalis) are very closely related to their homolog in mimivirus.

CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest that the numerous mimivirus-related sequences identified in marine environments are likely to originate from diverse large DNA viruses infecting phytoplankton. Micro-algae thus constitute a new category of potential hosts in which to look for new species of Mimiviridae.

PMID:
18215256
PMCID:
PMC2245910
DOI:
10.1186/1743-422X-5-12
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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