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Metagenomic analysis of nepoviruses: diversity, evolution and identification of a genome region in members of subgroup A that appears to be important for host range.
Archives of Virology  (IF2.574),  Pub Date : 2021-08-09, DOI: 10.1007/s00705-021-05111-0
J M Hily,N Poulicard,J Kubina,J S Reynard,A S Spilmont,M Fuchs,O Lemaire,E Vigne

Data mining and metagenomic analysis of 277 open reading frame sequences of bipartite RNA viruses of the genus Nepovirus, family Secoviridae, were performed, documenting how challenging it can be to unequivocally assign a virus to a particular species, especially those in subgroups A and C, based on some of the currently adopted taxonomic demarcation criteria. This work suggests a possible need for their amendment to accommodate pangenome information. In addition, we revealed a host-dependent structure of arabis mosaic virus (ArMV) populations at a cladistic level and confirmed a phylogeographic structure of grapevine fanleaf virus (GFLV) populations. We also identified new putative recombination events in members of subgroups A, B and C. The evolutionary specificity of some capsid regions of ArMV and GFLV that were described previously and biologically validated as determinants of nematode transmission was circumscribed in silico. Furthermore, a C-terminal segment of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of members of subgroup A was predicted to be a putative host range determinant based on statistically supported higher π (substitutions per site) values for GFLV and ArMV isolates infecting Vitis spp. compared with non-Vitis-infecting ArMV isolates. This study illustrates how sequence information obtained via high-throughput sequencing can increase our understanding of mechanisms that modulate virus diversity and evolution and create new opportunities for advancing studies on the biology of economically important plant viruses.