Little is known about viruses associated with Antarctic animals, although they are probably widespread. We recovered a novel polyomavirus from Adé lie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) faecal matter sampled in a subcolony at Cape Royds, Ross Island, Antarctica. The 4988 nt Adé lie penguin polyomavirus (AdPyV) has a typical polyomavirus genome organization with three ORFs that encoded capsid proteins on the one strand and two non-structural protein-coding ORFs on the complementary strand. The genome of AdPyV shared ~60% pairwise identity with all avipolyomaviruses. Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis of the large T-antigen (T-Ag) amino acid sequences showed that the T-Ag of AdPyV clustered with those of avipolyomaviruses, sharing between 48 and 52% identities. Only three viruses associated with Adé lie penguins have been identified at a genomic level, avian influenza virus subtype H11N2 from the Antarctic Peninsula and, respectively, Pygoscelis adeliae papillomavirus and AdPyV from capes Crozier and Royds on Ross Island.
Varsani, A., Porzig, E., Jennings, S., Kraberger, S., Farkas, K., Julian, L., Massaro, M., Ballard, G., & Ainley, D. (2015). Identification of an avian polyomavirus associated with Adélie penguins (Pygoscelis adeliae). Journal of General Virology, 96(4), 851-857. https://doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.000038