News Release

Virome in marine ecosystems reveal remarkable invertebrate RNA virus diversity

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Science China Press

Figure 1. The overall characterization of virus distribution.

image: The distribution and diversity of virus in invertebrate transcriptomes. The top graph shows the number of reads in each library. The colors of the bars indicate the location of sample collecting, Yellow Sea (yellow), East China Sea (red), South China Sea (blue). The full name of each library is shown on top of each bar, while major host classifications are shown above the bar graph. The bottom graph shows a summary of classification of virus species found in this study. view more 

Credit: @Science China Press

Human's understanding of the oceans is still limited. The oceans are rich of various kinds of resource which have great exploitation potential and are far away from fully development. Marine biosafety also needs to be noticed. There are not only many animal and plant species undiscovered, but also a much larger and diverse number of microorganisms such as viruses. Traditional studies of marine viruses have focused on bacteriophage represented DNA viruses, and little is known about the genetic diversity, distribution characteristics and transmission patterns of marine invertebrate RNA viruses.

Here, CUI Jie's team have collected a total of 58 marine invertebrate samples from 3 phyla and 6 classes and studied their RNA viromes with the approach of meta-transcriptomics sequencing. The team have identified 363 RNA viruses covering nine virus families (Durnavirales, Totiviridae, Bunyavirales, Chuviridae, Picornavirales, Flaviviridae, Hepelivirales, Solemoviridae, and Tombusviridae). Among them, 315 RNA viruses are sufficiently divergent to the already documented RNA virues. The team also reported 3 marine invertebrate hantaviruses that are more ancient than vertebrate hantaviruses, further supporting that hantaviruses may have a marine origin. The team demonstrated a high genetic diversity of marine viruses and viral genome elasticity and revealed possible virus transmission in different ocean areas and among different host species. Overall, this study provided important insights and perspective into the origin, evolution, transmission of marine RNA viruses by revealing marine RNA virosphere.


See the article: Yu-Yi, Zhang, Yicong, Chen, Xiaoman, Wei, Jie, Cui. (2021). Virome in Marine Ecosystems Reveal Remarkable Invertebrate RNA virus Diversity. SCIENCE CHINA Life Sciences, Doi: 10.1007/s11427-020-1936-2.

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