Viral dark matter and virus–host interactions resolved from publicly available microbial genomes

Simon Roux, Steven J. Hallam, Tanja Woyke, Matthew Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Scopus citations

Abstract

The ecological importance of viruses is now widely recognized, yet our limited knowledge of viral sequence space and virus–host interactions precludes accurate prediction of their roles and impacts. In this study, we mined publicly available bacterial and archaeal genomic data sets to identify 12,498 high-confidence viral genomes linked to their microbial hosts. These data augment public data sets 10-fold, provide first viral sequences for 13 new bacterial phyla including ecologically abundant phyla, and help taxonomically identify 7–38% of ‘unknown’ sequence space in viromes. Genome- and network-based classification was largely consistent with accepted viral taxonomy and suggested that (i) 264 new viral genera were identified (doubling known genera) and (ii) cross-taxon genomic recombination is limited. Further analyses provided empirical data on extrachromosomal prophages and coinfection prevalences, as well as evaluation of in silico virus–host linkage predictions. Together these findings illustrate the value of mining viral signal from microbial genomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournaleLife
Volume4
Issue numberJULY2015
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 22 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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