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Sequence diversity and evolution of a group of iflaviruses associated with ticks

Abstract : We studied a group of tick-associated viruses with characteristics of members of the family Iflaviridae , a family of viruses frequently found in arthropods. Our aim was to gain insight into the evolutionary dynamics of this group of viruses, which may be linked to the biology of ticks. We explored assembled RNA-Seq data sets for different species of ticks. We identified members of five different iflavirus species, four of them novel, and discovered nine new genome sequences, including variants. Five variants represented a virus species associated with Ixodes ricinus . Unexpectedly, a sequence found in the Ixodes scapularis cell line ISE6 was nearly identical to the sequences of I. ricinus variants, suggesting a contamination of this cell line by I. ricinus material. Analysing patterns of substitutions between these variants, we detected a strong excess of synonymous mutations, suggesting evolution under strong positive selection. The phylogenies of the viruses and of their tick hosts were not congruent, suggesting recurrent host changes across tick genera during their evolution. Overall, our work constitutes a step in the understanding of the interactions between this family of viruses and ticks.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03272097
Contributor : Michel Leroux <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 28, 2021 - 10:23:51 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 15, 2021 - 2:09:49 PM

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Romain Daveu, Caroline Hervet, Louane Sigrist, Davide Sassera, Aaron Jex, et al.. Sequence diversity and evolution of a group of iflaviruses associated with ticks. Archives of Virology, Springer Verlag, 2021, 166 (7), pp.1843-1852. ⟨10.1007/s00705-021-05060-8⟩. ⟨hal-03272097⟩

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