Identification of Novel Betaherpesviruses in Iberian Bats Reveals Parallel Evolution
Vázquez Morón, Sonia
Aznar López, Carolina
Garin Atorrasagasti, Ignacio
Aiartza Azurtza, José Ramón
Echevarría, Juan Emilio
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PLOS ONE 11(12) : (2016) // Article ID e0169153
A thorough search for bat herpesviruses was carried out in oropharyngeal samples taken from most of the bat species present in the Iberian Peninsula from the Vespertilionidae, Miniopteridae, Molossidae and Rhinolophidae families, in addition to a colony of captive fruit bats from the Pteropodidae family. By using two degenerate consensus PCR methods targeting two conserved genes, distinct and previously unrecognized bat-hosted herpesviruses were identified for the most of the tested species. All together a total of 42 potentially novel bat herpesviruses were partially characterized. Thirty-two of them were tentatively assigned to the Betaherpesvirinae subfamily while the remaining 10 were allocated into the Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily. Significant diversity was observed among the novel sequences when compared with type herpesvirus species of the ICTV-approved genera. The inferred phylogenetic relationships showed that most of the betaherpesviruses sequences fell into a well-supported unique monophyletic clade and support the recognition of a new betaherpes-virus genus. This clade is subdivided into three major clades, corresponding to the families of bats studied. This supports the hypothesis of a species-specific parallel evolution process between the potentially new betaherpesviruses and their bat hosts. Interestingly, two of the betaherpesviruses' sequences detected in rhinolophid bats clustered together apart from the rest, closely related to viruses that belong to the Roseolovirus genus. This suggests a putative third roseolo lineage. On the contrary, no phylogenetic structure was detected among several potentially novel bat-hosted gammaherpesviruses found in the study. Remarkably, all of the possible novel bat herpesviruses described in this study are linked to a unique bat species.
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