Novel ssDNA viruses discovered in yellow-crowned parakeet (Cyanoramphus auriceps) nesting material
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During routine monitoring of yellow-crowned parakeets in the Poulter Valley of the South Island of New Zealand, a dead parakeet chick was discovered in a nest. Known parrot-infecting viruses, such as beak and feather disease virus (BFDV), avian polyomavirus (APV), and parrot hepatitis B virus (PHBV), were not detected in the nesting material. However, we recovered two novel single-stranded DNA viruses (ssDNA), CynNCXV (2308 nt) and CynNCKV (2087 nt), which have genome architectures similar to those of circoviruses, characterised by circular genomes with two large bidirectional open reading frames (ORFs). Both contain a stem-loop element with a conserved nonanucleotide motif, known to be required for rolling-circle replication. The full genomes had no BLASTn similarity to known ssDNA viruses. However, in both genomes the larger ORFs have BLAST similarity to known replication-associated proteins (Reps). CynNCKV has 30 % similarity to picobiliphyte nano-like virus (Picobiliphyte M5584-5) with 66-88 % coverage (e-value of 5×10−33), whereas CynNCXV has 33 % similarity to rodent stool-associated virus (RodSCV M-45) with 92-94 % coverage (e-value of 5 × 10−31). Found within these ORFs were the rolling-circle replication motifs I, II, III and the helicase motifs Walker A and Walker B. Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analysis of the Reps reveals that these are two novel ssDNA viruses. At this point, we are unable to attribute the death of the parakeet to these two new novel ssDNA viruses.
This work was supported by the Brian Mason Scientific & Technical Trust, New Zealand.
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