Event Calendar » viruses in silico | the EVBC lecture series

To keep you up to date with the latest developments in virus bioinformatics, especially new tools that might help you in your research, the European Virus Bioinformatics Center is organising a monthly lecture series entitled viruses in silico.

The lecture will take place online as a Zoom Meeting. Participation is free. Use the registration form to receive the login details. Registration is possible until 1 hour before the start of the event.

Upcoming lectures

Simon Roux

RNA phages: more than meets the eye?
22. August 2022 | 06–07 pm CEST / 09–10 am PDT
Dr. Simon Roux, DOE Joint Genome Institute, USA

Please be aware of the deviating time!

The vast majority of bacteriophage diversity seems to be found in the Caudoviricetes class, i.e. double-stranded DNA phages with head-tail virion morphology. Across sample types and environments, these head-tail viruses are almost systematically the most diverse and abundant type of phage detected and reported, often alongside a handful of other groups of less abundant DNA phages. In contrast, RNA phages are typically not considered as relevant components of environmental phage communities. Here, we analyzed 330k novel RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRP) mined from 5,150 diverse metatranscriptomes, which represented a five-fold increase of RNA virus diversity compared to current datasets. Combined genome annotation and phylogenetic analyses revealed a transformed picture of global RNA phage diversity, with a dramatically expanded levivirus clade now representing ~ a third of the global RNA virus diversity and routinely identified as the most abundant type of RNA viruses in wastewater, soil, and rhizosphere samples, as well as 8 proposed new families and genera of RNA phages distinct from the known leviviruses and cystoviruses and spanning across several phyla in a global RNA phylogeny. Among these, a new clade of segmented Partiti-like phages was consistently identified across multiple years in several Yellowstone hot spring biofilms and predicted to infect a highly abundant Roseiflexus strain, suggesting an important ecological role for these new viruses in this microbiome. Overall, this global RNA virosphere analysis unveiled an unprecedented and so-far-uncharacterized richness of RNA phages, highlighted key environments such as soil and hot spring biofilms where a large portion of this novel RNA phage diversity resides, and indicates that RNA phages must be considered when investigating phage impact on microbiomes.

Past lectures