DOI: 10.1101/455816Oct 29, 2018Paper

Diversification of giant and large eukaryotic dsDNA viruses predated the origin of modern eukaryotes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Julien GuglielminiMorgan Gaïa


Giant and large eukaryotic double-stranded DNA viruses from the Nucleo-Cytoplasmic Large DNA Virus (NCLDV) assemblage represent a remarkably diverse and potentially ancient component of the eukaryotic virome. However, their origin(s), evolution and potential roles in the emergence of modern eukaryotes remain a subject of intense debate. Since the characterization of the mimivirus in 2003, many big and giant viruses have been discovered at a steady pace, offering a vast material for evolutionary investigations. In parallel, phylogenetic tools are constantly being improved, offering more rigorous approaches for reconstruction of deep evolutionary history of viruses and their hosts. Here we present robust phylogenetic trees of NCLDVs, based on the 8 most conserved proteins responsible for virion morphogenesis and informational processes. Our results uncover the evolutionary relationships between different NCLDV families and support the existence of two superclades of NCLDVs, each encompassing several families. We present evidence strongly suggesting that the NCLDV core genes, which are involved in both informational processes and virion formation, were acquired vertically from a common ancestor. Among them, the largest subunits of...Continue Reading

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