Identification of a distinct lineage of aviadenovirus from crane feces
Viruses are believed to be ubiquitous; however, the diversity of viruses is largely unknown because of the bias of previous research toward pathogenic viruses. Deep sequencing is a promising and unbiased approach to detect viruses from animal-derived materials. Although cranes are known to be infected by several viruses such as influenza A viruses, previous studies targeted limited species of viruses, and thus viruses that infect cranes have not been extensively studied. In this study, we collected crane fecal samples in the Izumi plain in Japan, which is an overwintering site for cranes, and performed metagenomic shotgun sequencing analyses. We detected aviadenovirus-like sequences in the fecal samples and tentatively named the discovered virus crane-associated adenovirus 1 (CrAdV-1). We determined that our sequence accounted for approximately three-fourths of the estimated CrAdV-1 genome size (33,245 bp). The GC content of CrAdV-1 genome is 34.1%, which is considerably lower than that of other aviadenoviruses. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that CrAdV-1 clusters with members of the genus Aviadenovirus, but is distantly related to the previously identified aviadenoviruses. The protein sequence divergence between the DNA polymerase of CrAdV-1 and those of other aviadenoviruses is 45.2–46.8%. Based on these results and the species demarcation for the family Adenoviridae, we propose that CrAdV-1 be classified as a new species in the genus Aviadenovirus. Results of this study contribute to a deeper understanding of the diversity and evolution of viruses and provide additional information on viruses that infect cranes, which might lead to protection of the endangered species of cranes.
KeywordsAdenovirus Aviadenovirus Crane Feces Metagenomics
We thank Dr. Keiko Takemoto (Kyoto University) for her kind help with the bioinformatic analyses. We also thank Naomi Fujimoto and Mikiko Tanaka for technical support. The supercomputing resource was provided by the Human Genome Center (University of Tokyo). This study was supported by the Hakubi Project at Kyoto University (MH); a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports, and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, Grant Numbers 17H05821 (MH), 19H04833 (MH),17H05823 (SN), 19H04843 (SN), 16H06429 (TW), 16K21723 (TW), and 16H06434 (TW); the Cooperative Research Program (Joint Usage/Research Center) of the Institute for Frontier Life and Medial Sciences at Kyoto University (SN); and a Grant for contracted research activity related to crane conservation by the City of Izumi, Japan (MO). This research was commissioned by the Kagoshima Crane Conservation Committee.
MO, TM, KT, YK, TW, and MH designed the study. YM, YT, MO, TW, and MH performed the researches. KK, SN, TI and MH analyzed the data. YM, SN, TW, and MH wrote the paper.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals, performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent concerns are not applicable.
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