Unveiling Mycoviromes Using Fungal Transcriptomes

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 18;23(18):10926. doi: 10.3390/ijms231810926.


Viruses infecting fungi are referred to as mycoviruses. Here, we carried out in silico mycovirome studies using public fungal transcriptomes mostly derived from mRNA libraries. We identified 468 virus-associated contigs assigned to 5 orders, 21 families, 26 genera, and 88 species. We assembled 120 viral genomes with diverse RNA and DNA genomes. The phylogenetic tree and genome organization unveiled the possible host origin of mycovirus species and diversity of their genome structures. Most identified mycoviruses originated from fungi; however, some mycoviruses had strong phylogenetic relationships with those from insects and plants. The viral abundance and mutation frequency of mycoviruses were very low; however, the compositions and populations of mycoviruses were very complex. Although coinfection of diverse mycoviruses in the fungi was common in our study, most mycoviromes had a dominant virus species. The compositions and populations of mycoviruses were more complex than we expected. Viromes of Monilinia species revealed that there were strong deviations in the composition of viruses and viral abundance among samples. Viromes of Gigaspora species showed that the chemical strigolactone might promote virus replication and mutations, while symbiosis with endobacteria might suppress virus replication and mutations. This study revealed the diversity and host distribution of mycoviruses.

Keywords: fungus; mycovirus; transcriptome; virome; virus.

MeSH terms

  • Fungal Viruses* / genetics
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA
  • RNA Viruses* / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Transcriptome


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • RNA