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, 93 (Pt 11), 2431-5

First Isolation of an Entomobirnavirus From Free-Living Insects


First Isolation of an Entomobirnavirus From Free-Living Insects

Marco Marklewitz et al. J Gen Virol.


Drosophila X virus (DXV), the prototype Entomobirnavirus, is a well-studied RNA virus model. Its origin is unknown, and so is that of the only other entomobirnavirus, Espirito Santo virus (ESV). We isolated an entomobirnavirus tentatively named Culex Y virus (CYV) from hibernating Culex pipiens complex mosquitoes in Germany. CYV was detected in three pools consisting of 11 mosquitoes each. Full-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analyses suggested that CYV and ESV define one sister species to DXV within the genus Entomobirnavirus. In contrast to the laboratory-derived ESV, the ORF5 initiation codon AUG was mutated to (1927)GUG in all three wild-type CYV isolates. Also in contrast to ESV, replication of CYV was not dependent on other viruses in insect cell culture. CYV could provide a wild-type counterpart in research fields relying on DXV and other cell culture-adapted strains.

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