Identification of Two Novel Amalgaviruses in the Common Eelgrass (Zostera marina) and in Silico Analysis of the Amalgavirus +1 Programmed Ribosomal Frameshifting Sites

  • Park, Dongbin (Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Goh, Chul Jun (Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Kim, Hyein (Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Hahn, Yoonsoo (Department of Life Science, Chung-Ang University)
  • Received : 2017.11.20
  • Accepted : 2018.01.18
  • Published : 2018.04.01


The genome sequences of two novel monopartite RNA viruses were identified in a common eelgrass (Zostera marina) transcriptome dataset. Sequence comparison and phylogenetic analyses revealed that these two novel viruses belong to the genus Amalgavirus in the family Amalgaviridae. They were named Zostera marina amalgavirus 1 (ZmAV1) and Zostera marina amalgavirus 2 (ZmAV2). Genomes of both ZmAV1 and ZmAV2 contain two overlapping open reading frames (ORFs). ORF1 encodes a putative replication factory matrix-like protein, while ORF2 encodes a RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) domain. The fusion protein (ORF1+2) of ORF1 and ORF2, which mediates RNA replication, was produced using the +1 programmed ribosomal frameshifting (PRF) mechanism. The +1 PRF motif sequence, UUU_CGN, which is highly conserved among known amalgaviruses, was also found in ZmAV1 and ZmAV2. Multiple sequence alignment of the ORF1+2 fusion proteins from 24 amalgaviruses revealed that +1 PRF occurred only at three different positions within the 13-amino acid-long segment, which was surrounded by highly conserved regions on both sides. This suggested that the +1 PRF may be constrained by the structure of fusion proteins. Genome sequences of ZmAV1 and ZmAV2, which are the first viruses to be identified in common eelgrass, will serve as useful resources for studying evolution and diversity of amalgaviruses.


Supported by : National Research Foundation of Korea


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