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Title: The RNA virome of echinoderms
Echinoderms are a phylum of marine invertebrates that include model organisms, keystone species, and animals commercially harvested for seafood. Despite their scientific, ecological, and economic importance, there is little known about the diversity of RNA viruses that infect echinoderms compared to other invertebrates. We screened over 900 transcriptomes and viral metagenomes to characterize the RNA virome of 38 echinoderm species from all five classes (Crinoidea, Holothuroidea, Asteroidea, Ophiuroidea and Echinoidea). We identified 347 viral genome fragments that were classified to genera and families within nine viral orders - Picornavirales, Durnavirales, Martellivirales, Nodamuvirales, Reovirales, Amarillovirales, Ghabrivirales, Mononegavirales, and Hepelivirales . We compared the relative viral representation across three life stages (embryo, larvae, adult) and characterized the gene content of contigs which encoded complete or near-complete genomes. The proportion of viral reads in a given transcriptome was not found to significantly differ between life stages though the majority of viral contigs were discovered from transcriptomes of adult tissue. This study illuminates the biodiversity of RNA viruses from echinoderms, revealing the occurrence of viral groups in natural populations.  more » « less
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Journal of General Virology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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