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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Sep 22;112(38):E5327-35. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1510795112. Epub 2015 Sep 8.

In-depth study of Mollivirus sibericum, a new 30,000-y-old giant virus infecting Acanthamoeba.

Author information

1
Information Génomique and Structurale, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7256 (Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée, FR3479) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-Marseille Université, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France;
2
Université Grenoble Alpes, Institut de Recherches en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant-Laboratoire Biologie à Grande Echelle, F-38000 Grenoble, France; Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut de Recherches en Technologies et Sciences pour le Vivant-Laboratoire Biologie à Grande Echelle, F-38000 Grenoble, France; INSERM, Laboratoire Biologie à Grande Echelle, F-38000 Grenoble, France;
3
Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, Institut de Génomique, Centre National de Séquençage, 91057 Evry Cedex, France;
4
Institute of Physicochemical and Biological Problems in Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Pushchino 142290, Russia;
5
Information Génomique and Structurale, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7256 (Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée, FR3479) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-Marseille Université, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France; Chantal.Abergel@igs.cnrs-mrs.fr jean-michel.claverie@univ-amu.fr.
6
Information Génomique and Structurale, Unité Mixte de Recherche 7256 (Institut de Microbiologie de la Méditerranée, FR3479) Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Aix-Marseille Université, 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France; Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Marseille, 13385 Marseille, France Chantal.Abergel@igs.cnrs-mrs.fr jean-michel.claverie@univ-amu.fr.

Abstract

Acanthamoeba species are infected by the largest known DNA viruses. These include icosahedral Mimiviruses, amphora-shaped Pandoraviruses, and Pithovirus sibericum, the latter one isolated from 30,000-y-old permafrost. Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus, was isolated from the same permafrost sample. Its approximately spherical virion (0.6-µm diameter) encloses a 651-kb GC-rich genome encoding 523 proteins of which 64% are ORFans; 16% have their closest homolog in Pandoraviruses and 10% in Acanthamoeba castellanii probably through horizontal gene transfer. The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of "omic" approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate. Surprisingly, the host's ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount. The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses' diversity remains to be fully explored.

KEYWORDS:

Pleistocene; giant virus; permafrost

PMID:
26351664
PMCID:
PMC4586845
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1510795112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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