Marseillevirus is the founding member of the proposed family Marseilleviridae , which is the second discovered family of giant viruses that infect amoebae. These viruses have been recovered from environmental water samples and, more recently, from humans. Tunisvirus was isolated from fountain water in Tunis, Tunisia, by culturing on Acanthamoeba spp. and is a new marseillevirus. We describe here its 380,011 base-pair genome. A total of 484 proteins were identified, among which 320 and 358 have an ortholog in Marseillevirus and Lausannevirus (e-value <1e-2), respectively, and 259 and 299 have best reciprocal hits with a Marseillevirus and a Lausannevirus protein, respectively. In addition, a significant hit was found in organisms other than marseilleviruses for 144 Tunisvirus proteins, indicating extensive lateral gene transfers, as has been demonstrated previously for Marseillevirus. Finally, a total of 21 ORFans were identified. Phylogeny reconstructions and analysis of the gene repertoires of marseilleviruses, including the proportion of orthologs and the mean amino acid identity between genes in pairs, suggest that the proposed family Marseilleviridae encompasses three lineages. Lineage A is composed of Marseillevirus, Cannes 8 virus and Senegalvirus; lineage B is represented by Lausannevirus alone; and lineage C has Tunisvirus as its first member. Taken together, these findings suggest that the marseilleviruses display a substantial level of diversity.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2014
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