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J Gen Virol. 2018 Apr;99(4):567-573. doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.001041. Epub 2018 Mar 8.

Fish polyomaviruses belong to two distinct evolutionary lineages.

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2​Cancer Biology Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, Bio5 Institute, and the University of Arizona Cancer Center University of Arizona, 1657 E Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
1​School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, University of Arizona, 1657 E Helen St., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA.
3​The Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics, Center for Evolution and Medicine and School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA.
4​School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
5​School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography Bangor University Bangor, LL57 2UW, UK.
6​Structural Biology Research Unit, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa.


The Polyomaviridae is a diverse family of circular double-stranded DNA viruses. Polyomaviruses have been isolated from a wide array of animal hosts. An understanding of the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of these viruses is essential to understanding the pathogenicity of polyomaviruses. Using a high throughput sequencing approach, we identified a novel polyomavirus in an emerald notothen (Trematomus bernacchii) sampled in the Ross sea (Antarctica), expanding the known number of fish-associated polyomaviruses. Our analysis suggests that polyomaviruses belong to three main evolutionary clades; the first clade is made up of all recognized terrestrial polyomaviruses. The fish-associated polyomaviruses are not monophyletic, and belong to two divergent evolutionary lineages. The fish viruses provide evidence that the evolution of the key viral large T protein involves gain and loss of distinct domains.


Antarctica; Polyomaviridae; Trematomus bernacchii; emerald notothen

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