Endogenous RNA viruses of plants in insect genomes

See on Scoop.itVirology News

“Endogenous viral elements (EVEs) derived from RNA viruses with no DNA stage are rare, especially those where the parental viruses possess single-strand positive-sense (ssRNA +) genomes. Here we provide evidence that EVEs that share a sequence similarity to ssRNA + viruses of plants are integrated into the genomes of a number of insects, including mosquito, fruit flies, bees, ant, silkworm, pea aphid, Monarch butterfly, and wasps. A preliminary phylogenetic analysis places these EVEs as divergent relatives of the Virgaviridae and three currently unclassified plant viral species.”

I have covered this before, in ViroBlogy, (and here, in 2007)as an interesting and probably under-appreciated phenomenon.  I note Eddie Holmes and colleagues have now taken it much, much further – which incidentally lends significant credence to my supposition that virus/vector/plant coevolution was probably a fair bit more intimate than has been supposed, with the newly-emerged (in evolutionary terms) insects and their viruses meeting terrestrial plants and THEIR viruses.  And mixing everything up, as I have speculated elsewhere (Origins of Viruses).

I thank Jean-Marie Verchot for drawing my attention to this!

See on www.sciencedirect.com

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