Aug 20, 2018

Endogenous viral elements are widespread in arthropod genomes and commonly give rise to piRNAs

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Anneliek M ter HorstBryce W Falk

Abstract

Arthropod genomes contain sequences derived from integrations of DNA and non-retroviral RNA viruses. These sequences, known as endogenous viral elements (EVEs), have been acquired over the course of evolution and have been proposed to serve as a record of past viral infection. Recent evidence indicates that EVEs can function as templates for the biogenesis of PIWI-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) in some mosquito species and cell lines, raising the possibility that EVEs may function as a source of immunological memory in these organisms. However, whether EVEs are capable of acting as templates for piRNA production in other arthropod species is unknown. Here we used publically available genome assemblies and small RNA sequencing datasets to characterize the repertoire and function of EVEs across 48 arthropod genomes. We found that EVEs are widespread in arthropod genomes and primarily correspond to unclassified ssRNA viruses and viruses belonging to the Rhabdoviridae and Parvoviridae families. Additionally, EVEs were enriched in piRNA clusters in a majority of species and we found that production of primary piRNAs from EVEs is common, particularly for EVEs located within piRNA clusters. While we found evidence suggesting that piRNAs ma...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Rhabdoviridae
Small Nuclear RNA
PIWIL1 gene
Virus
Virus Diseases
Genome
Sequence Determinations, RNA
RNA Viruses
Parvoviridae
Nucleic Acid Sequencing

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