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Free Content Identification and characterization of SNJ2, the first temperate pleolipovirus integrating into the genome of the SNJ1‐lysogenic archaeal strain

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Proviral regions have been identified in the genomes of many haloarchaea, but only a few archaeal halophilic temperate viruses have been studied. Here, we report a new virus, SNJ2, originating from archaeal strain N atrinema sp. J7‐1. We demonstrate that this temperate virus coexists with SNJ1 virus and is dependent on SNJ1 for efficient production. Here, we show that SNJ1 is an icosahedral membrane‐containing virus, whereas SNJ2 is a pleomorphic one. Instead of producing progeny virions and forming plaques, SNJ2 integrates into the host tRNAMet gene. The virion contains a discontinuous, circular, double‐stranded DNA genome of 16 992 bp, in which both nicks and single‐stranded regions are present preceded by a ‘GCCCA’ motif. Among 25 putative SNJ2 open reading frames (ORFs), five of them form a cluster of conserved ORFs homologous to archaeal pleolipoviruses isolated from hypersaline environments. Two structural protein encoding genes in the conserved cluster were verified in SNJ2. Furthermore, SNJ2‐like proviruses containing the conserved gene cluster were identified in the chromosomes of archaea belonging to 10 different genera. Comparison of SNJ2 and these proviruses suggests that they employ a similar integration strategy into a tRNA gene.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2015

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