Description and initial characterization of metatranscriptomic nidovirus-like genomes from the proposed new family Abyssoviridae, and from a sister group to the Coronavirinae, the proposed genus Alphaletovirus. Academic Article uri icon


  • Transcriptomics has the potential to discover new RNA virus genomes by sequencing total intracellular RNA pools. In this study, we have searched publicly available transcriptomes for sequences similar to viruses of the Nidovirales order. We report two potential nidovirus genomes, a highly divergent 35.9kb likely complete genome from the California sea hare Aplysia californica, which we assign to a nidovirus named Aplysia abyssovirus 1 (AAbV), and a coronavirus-like 22.3kb partial genome from the ornamented pygmy frog Microhyla fissipes, which we assign to a nidovirus named Microhyla alphaletovirus 1 (MLeV). AAbV was shown to encode a functional main proteinase, and a translational readthrough signal. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that AAbV represents a new family, proposed here as Abyssoviridae. MLeV represents a sister group to the other known coronaviruses. The importance of MLeV and AAbV for understanding nidovirus evolution, and the origin of terrestrial nidoviruses are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Virology

altmetric score

  • 8.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Bukhari, K., Mulley, G., Gulyaeva, A. A., Zhao, L., Shu, G., Jiang, J., & Neuman, B. W.

citation count

  • 46

complete list of authors

  • Bukhari, Khulud||Mulley, Geraldine||Gulyaeva, Anastasia A||Zhao, Lanying||Shu, Guocheng||Jiang, Jianping||Neuman, Benjamin W

publication date

  • September 2018