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, 7 (11), 5792-800

Genomic Mining Reveals Deep Evolutionary Relationships Between Bornaviruses and Bats


Genomic Mining Reveals Deep Evolutionary Relationships Between Bornaviruses and Bats

Jie Cui et al. Viruses.


Bats globally harbor viruses in order Mononegavirales, such as lyssaviruses and henipaviruses; however, little is known about their relationships with bornaviruses. Previous studies showed that viral fossils of bornaviral origin are embedded in the genomes of several mammalian species such as primates, indicative of an ancient origin of exogenous bornaviruses. In this study, we mined the available 10 bat genomes and recreated a clear evolutionary relationship of endogenous bornaviral elements and bats. Comparative genomics showed that endogenization of bornaviral elements frequently occurred in vesper bats, harboring EBLLs (endogenous bornavirus-like L elements) in their genomes. Molecular dating uncovered a continuous bornavirus-bat interaction spanning 70 million years. We conclude that better understanding of modern exogenous bornaviral circulation in bat populations is warranted.

Keywords: bats; endogenous bornaviruses; genomic mining; virus-host interaction.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Phylogenetic positions of bat endogenous bornaviruses. EBLL protein sequences of bats and non-bats are used to construct the phylogenetic tree. Host names indicate viral lineages; the numbers denote viral elements in different contigs and the sub-numbers denote different viral elements in same contigs. The abbreviations can be found in Table 1 and Table S1. Exogenous bornaviruses are highlighted; all bat clades are marked. Bootstrap values lower than 50% are not shown. Branch lengths are drawn to a scale of amino acid substitutions per site (subs/site). The trees are midpoint rooted for purposes of clarity only. All bat EBLs are shaded in gray.
Figure 2
Figure 2
A pair of orthologous viral contigs in Parnell’s mustached bat and Brandt’s bat. The boxes with position 1.3–4.5 kb in Ptp.L2 and 1.2–3.5 kb in Myb.L5 represent viral element regions. The same color (blue and red) represents orthologous SINEs, where SINE-A1 and A2 are duplicates within Ptp and SINE-B1 and B2 are duplicates within Myd. The bar represents the contig length (in kilobase).
Figure 3
Figure 3
Time-scaled bat bornavirus evolution. The abbreviations of bat hosts represent bat EBLNs. A host species tree, with divergence time (My) marked, is embedded to highlight the virus-host co-divergence. Key nodes represent ages (My) of root-to-tip and 95% credible intervals are shown by horizontal bar. Bayesian posterior probabilities are given on the branches.

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