Reference : Cyanolichen microbiome contains novel viruses that encode genes to promote microbial ...
Scientific journals : Article
Life sciences : Microbiology
Cyanolichen microbiome contains novel viruses that encode genes to promote microbial metabolism
Ponsero, Alise J []
Hurwitz, Bonnie L []
Magain, Nicolas mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de Biologie, Ecologie et Evolution > Biologie de l'évolution et gestion de la biodiversité >]
Miadlikowska, Jolanta []
Lutzoni, François []
U'Ren, Jana []
ISME Communications
Springer Nature
Yes (verified by ORBi)
United Kingdom
[en] Lichen thalli are formed through the symbiotic association of a filamentous fungus and photosynthetic green alga and/or cyanobacterium. Recent studies have revealed lichens also host highly diverse communities of secondary fungal and bacterial symbionts, yet few studies have examined the viral component within these complex symbioses. Here, we describe viral biodiversity and functions in cyanolichens collected from across North America and Europe. As current machine-learning viral-detection tools are not trained on complex eukaryotic metagenomes, we first developed efficient methods to remove eukaryotic reads prior to viral detection and a custom pipeline to validate viral contigs predicted with three machine-learning methods. Our resulting high-quality viral data illustrate that every cyanolichen thallus contains diverse viruses that are distinct from viruses in other terrestrial ecosystems. In addition to cyanobacteria, predicted viral hosts include other lichen-associated bacterial lineages and algae, although a large fraction of viral contigs had no host prediction. Functional annotation of cyanolichen viral sequences predicts numerous viral-encoded auxiliary metabolic genes (AMGs) involved in amino acid, nucleotide, and carbohydrate metabolism, including AMGs for secondary metabolism (antibiotics and antimicrobials) and fatty acid biosynthesis. Overall, the diversity of cyanolichen AMGs suggests that viruses may alter microbial interactions within these complex symbiotic assemblages.

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