Reannotation of the ribonucleotide reductase in a cyanophage reveals life history strategies within the virioplankton

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Amelia O HarrisonK Eric Wommack


Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) are ancient enzymes that catalyze the reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. They are required for virtually all cellular life and are prominent within viral genomes. RNRs share a common ancestor and must generate a protein radical for direct ribonucleotide reduction. The mechanisms by which RNRs produce radicals are diverse and divide RNRs into three major classes and several subclasses. The diversity of radical generation methods means that cellular organisms and viruses typically contain the RNR best-suited to the environmental conditions surrounding DNA replication. However, such diversity has also fostered high rates of RNR misannotation within subject sequence databases. These misannotations have resulted in incorrect translative presumptions of RNR biochemistry and have diminished the utility of this marker gene for ecological studies of viruses. We discovered a misannotation of the RNR gene within the Prochlorococcus phage P-SSP7 genome, which caused a chain of misannotations within commonly observed RNR genes from marine virioplankton communities. These RNRs are found in marine cyanopodo- and cyanosiphoviruses and are currently misannotated as Class II RNRs, which are O2-...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Genes, Viral
Ribonucleotide Reductase

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