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J Gen Virol. 2011 Jun;92(Pt 6):1302-1308. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.030338-0. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Dragonfly cyclovirus, a novel single-stranded DNA virus discovered in dragonflies (Odonata: Anisoptera).

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College of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St Petersburg, FL 33701, USA.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.
Biomolecular Interaction Centre, University of Canterbury, Ilam, Christchurch 8140, New Zealand.
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa.
Electron Microscope Unit, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa.


Dragonfly cyclovirus (DfCyV), a new species of ssDNA virus discovered using viral metagenomics in dragonflies (family Libellulidae) from the Kingdom of Tonga. Metagenomic sequences of DfCyV were similar to viruses of the recently proposed genus Cyclovirus within the family Circoviridae. Specific PCRs resulted in the recovery of 21 DfCyV genomes from three dragonfly species (Pantala flavescens, Tholymis tillarga and Diplacodes bipunctata). The 1741 nt DfCyV genomes share >95 % nucleotide identity and are classified into 11 subtypes representing a single strain. The DfCyV genomes share 48-63 % genome-wide nucleotide identity with cycloviruses identified in human faecal samples. Recombination analysis revealed three recombinant DfCyV genomes, suggesting that recombination plays an important role in cyclovirus evolution. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a circular ssDNA virus identified in insects, and the data may help elucidate evolutionary links among novel Circoviridae recently identified in animals and environmental samples.

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