Viral metagenomic studies have demonstrated that animal faeces can be a good sampling source for exploring viral diversity associated with the host and its environment. As part of an continuing effort to identify novel circular replication-associated protein encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses circulating in the Tongan archipelago, coupled with the fact that bats are a reservoir species of a large number of viruses, we used a metagenomic approach to investigate the CRESS DNA virus diversity in Pacific flying fox (Pteropus tonganus) faeces. Faecal matter from four roosting sites located in Ha'avakatolo, Kolovai, Ha'ateiho and Lapaha on Tongatapu Island was collected in April 2014 and January 2015. From these samples we identified five novel cycloviruses representing three putative species, 25 gemycircularviruses representing at least 14 putative species, 17 other CRESS DNA viruses (15 putative species), two circular DNA molecules and a putative novel multi-component virus for which we have identified three cognate molecules. This study demonstrates that there exists a large diversity of CRESS DNA viruses in Pacific flying fox faeces.
Keywords: Cyclovirus; Gemycircularvirus; Pteropus tonganus; Tonga; ssDNA virus.
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