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Nat Commun. 2019 Jan 17;10(1):294. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-08167-w.

CRISPR analysis suggests that small circular single-stranded DNA smacoviruses infect Archaea instead of humans.

Author information

1
Evolutionary Genomics Group, Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Microbiología, Universidad Miguel Hernández, San Juan de Alicante, 03550, Spain. cesardiezvillasenor@outlook.com.
2
Evolutionary Genomics Group, Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Microbiología, Universidad Miguel Hernández, San Juan de Alicante, 03550, Spain.

Abstract

Smacoviridae is a family of small (~2.5 Kb) CRESS-DNA (Circular Rep Encoding Single-Stranded (ss) DNA) viruses. These viruses have been found in faeces, were thought to infect eukaryotes and are suspected to cause gastrointestinal disease in humans. CRISPR-Cas systems are adaptive immune systems in prokaryotes, wherein snippets of genomes from invaders are stored as spacers that are interspersed between a repeated CRISPR sequence. Here we report several spacer sequences in the faecal archaeon Candidatus Methanomassiliicoccus intestinalis matching smacoviruses, implicating the archaeon as a firm candidate for a host. This finding may be relevant to understanding the potential origin of smacovirus-associated human diseases. Our results support that CRESS-DNA viruses can infect non-eukaryotes, which would mean that smacoviruses are the viruses with the smallest genomes to infect prokaryotes known to date. A probable target strand bias suggests that, in addition to double-stranded DNA, the CRISPR-Cas system can target ssDNA.

PMID:
30655519
PMCID:
PMC6336856
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-08167-w
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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