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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Bee Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317234

Title: The Apis mellifera filamentous virus genome

item GAUTHIER, LAURENT - Agroscope
item CORNMAN, ROBERT - Non ARS Employee
item HARTMANN, ULRIKE - Agroscope
item Evans, Jay
item DE MIRANDA, JOACHIM - Swedish University Of Agricultural Sciences
item NEUMANN, PETER - University Of Bern

Submitted to: Viruses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/5/2015
Publication Date: 8/2/2015
Citation: Gauthier, L., Cornman, R.S., Hartmann, U., Cousserans, F., Evans, J.D., De Miranda, J., Neumann, P. 2015. The Apis mellifera filamentous virus genome. Viruses. 7:3798-3815.

Interpretive Summary: A novel DNA virus was discovered during the sequencing of the honey bee parasitic mite, Varroa destructor. This virus was subsequently found in honey bees. To determine the roles of this virus in bee health, and its possible utility for controlling parasitic mites, a complete genome analysis was carried out. The results indicate a novel virus structure, and provide a direct tool for identifying this virus in the field. Researchers can now use this genetic information to clarify viral status and distribution.

Technical Abstract: A complete reference genome of the Apis mellifera Filamentous virus (AmFV) was determined using Illumina Hiseq sequencing. The AmFV genome is a double strand DNA molecule of approximately 498’500 nucleotides with a GC content of 50.8%. It encompasses 251 non overlapping open reading frames (ORFs), equally distributed on both strands, which cover 64% of the genome. While most of the ORFs lacked threshold sequence alignments to reference protein databases, twenty were found to display significant homologies with proteins present in large double strand DNA viruses of invertebrates. Remarkably, 16 ORFs had strong similarity with typical baculovirus domains such as PIFs (per os infectivity factor genes pif-1, pif-2, pif-3 and p74) and BRO (Baculovirus Repeated Open Reading Frame). The putative DNA polymerase is of type B and only distantly related with poxviruses. Higher percent identity scores were obtained with ORFs displaying homologies with viral proteins involved in nucleotide metabolism. Other notable features are the presence of several collagen-like, chitin binding, kinesin and pacifastin domains. According to the size of the genome and the lack of consistent affiliation with one of the large double stranded DNA viruses infecting invertebrates, our data suggest that the AmFV belong to a new virus family. Keywords: Honey bee, virus, pollination