An expressed, endogenous Nodavirus-like element captured by a retrotransposon in the genome of the plant parasitic nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus


Recently, nematode viruses infecting Caenorhabditis elegans have been reported from the family Nodaviridae, the first nematode viruses described. Here, we report the observation of a novel endogenous viral element (EVE) in the genome of Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, a plant parasitic nematode unrelated to other nematodes from which viruses have been characterised. This element derives from a different clade of nodaviruses to the previously reported nematode viruses. This represents the first endogenous nodavirus sequence, the first nematode endogenous viral element, and significantly extends our knowledge of the potential diversity of the Nodaviridae. A search for endogenous elements related to the Nodaviridae did not reveal any elements in other available nematode genomes. Further surveillance for endogenous viral elements is warranted as our knowledge of nematode genome diversity, and in particular of free-living nematodes, expands.

In Scientific Reports 6:39749
James Cotton
James Cotton
Senior Staff Scientist

My research interests are in the genomics, and particularly population genomics of parasites, particularly those that cause neglected tropical diseases