Vesicle-like Virion of Haloarcula Hispanica Pleomorphic Virus 3 Preserves High Infectivity in Saturated Salt

Virology. 2016 Dec;499:40-51. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.09.002. Epub 2016 Sep 12.


Hypersaline environments that are subject to salinity changes are particularly rich in viruses. Here we report a newly isolated archaeal halovirus, Haloarcula hispanica pleomorphic virus 3 (HHPV3). Its reproduction significantly retards host growth and decreases cell viability without causing lysis. HHPV3 particles require a minimum of 3M NaCl for stability and maintain high infectivity even in saturated salt. Notably, virions are irreversibly inactivated at ~1.5M NaCl in neutral pH, but tolerate this salinity at alkaline pH. The HHPV3 virion is a pleomorphic membrane vesicle containing two major protein species and lipids acquired nonselectively from the host membrane. The circular double-stranded DNA genome contains a conserved gene block characteristic of pleolipoviruses. We propose that HHPV3 is a member of the Betapleolipovirus genus (family Pleolipoviridae). Our findings add insights into the diversity observed among the pleolipoviruses found in hypersaline environments.

Keywords: Archaeal virus; Genome sequence; Halovirus; Hypersalinity; Pleolipoviridae; Pleomorphic virus; Virus life cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Archaeal Viruses / isolation & purification
  • Archaeal Viruses / physiology*
  • Archaeal Viruses / ultrastructure
  • Gene Order
  • Genome, Viral
  • Haloarcula / virology*
  • Host Specificity
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Ions
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Salinity*
  • Virion* / isolation & purification
  • Virion* / physiology
  • Virion* / ultrastructure
  • Virus Replication


  • Ions