Diverse circular replication-associated protein encoding viruses circulating in invertebrates within a lake ecosystem

Anisha Dayaram, Mark L. Galatowitsch, Gerardo R. Argüello-Astorga, Katherine van Bysterveldt, Simona Kraberger, Daisy Stainton, Jon S. Harding, Philippe Roumagnac, Darren P. Martin, Pierre Lefeuvre, Arvind Varsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Over the last five years next-generation sequencing has become a cost effective and efficient method for identifying known and unknown microorganisms. Access to this technique has dramatically changed the field of virology, enabling a wide range of environmental viral metagenome studies to be undertaken of organisms and environmental samples from polar to tropical regions. These studies have led to the discovery of hundreds of highly divergent single stranded DNA (ssDNA) virus-like sequences encoding replication-associated proteins. Yet, few studies have explored how viruses might be shared in an ecosystem through feeding relationships. Here we identify 169 circular molecules (160 CRESS DNA molecules, nine circular molecules) recovered from a New Zealand freshwater lake, that we have tentatively classified into 51 putatively novel species and five previously described species (DflaCV-3, -5, -6, -8, -10). The CRESS DNA viruses identified in this study were recovered from molluscs (Echyridella menzeisii, Musculium novaezelandiae, Potamopyrgus antipodarum and Physella acuta) and insect larvae (Procordulia grayi, Xanthocnemis zealandica, and Chironomus zealandicus) collected from Lake Sarah, as well as from the lake water and benthic sediments. Extensive diversity was observed across most CRESS DNA molecules recovered. The putative capsid protein of one viral species was found to be most similar to those of members of the Tombusviridae family, thus expanding the number of known RNA-DNA hybrid viruses in nature. We noted a strong association between the CRESS DNA viruses and circular molecules identified in the water and browser organisms (C. zealandicus, P. antipodarum and P. acuta), and between water sediments and undefended prey species (C. zealandicus). However, we were unable to find any significant correlation of viral assemblages to the potential feeding relationships of the host aquatic invertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-316
Number of pages13
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • CRESS DNA viruses
  • Chironomus zealandicus
  • Echyridella menzeisi
  • Freshwater invertebrates
  • Musculium novazelandiae
  • Physella acuta
  • Potamopyrgus antipodarum
  • Procordulia grayi
  • Replication-associated protein
  • Xanthocnemis zealandica

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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