A wide variety of novel single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) viruses have been found in faecal matter of chimpanzees, cows, rodents, bats, badgers, foxes and pigs over the last few years. Using a combination of rolling circle amplification coupled with restriction enzyme digests based approach as well as a next generation sequencing informed approach, we have recovered fourteen full genomes of ssDNA viruses which exhibit genomic features described for members of the recently proposed gemycircularvirus group from a wide variety of mammal and bird faecal samples across New Zealand. The fourteen novel ssDNA viruses (2122-2290. nt) encode two major proteins, a replication associated protein (Rep) and a capsid protein (Cp) which are bi-directionally transcribed. Interestingly, the Rep of these novel viruses are similar to gemycircularviruses detected in insects, cassava leaves, and badger faecal matter, the novel viruses share sequence similarities with the mycovirus sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirulence-associated DNA virus 1 (SsHADV-1) and Rep-like sequences found in fungal genomes. Pairwise sequence similarities between the 14 novel genomes with other related viral isolates (gemycircularviruses) indicated that they share greater than 55.8% genome-wide identity. Additionally, they share between 55% and 59% pairwise identity with putative novel ssDNA virus genomes recently isolated from sewage baminivirus, niminivirus and nephavirus. Based on the similarities to SsHADV-1 and Rep-like sequences found in fungal genomes, these novel gemycircularviruses may infect fungi.
Sikorski, A., Massaro, M., Kraberger, S., Young, L. M., Smalley, D., Martin, D. P., & Varsani, A. (2013). Novel myco-like DNA viruses discovered in the faecal matter of various animals. Virus Research, 177(2), 209-216. [doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2013.08.008]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virusres.2013.08.008