Giant viruses of the Kutch Desert

Abstract

The Kutch Desert (Great Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India) is a unique ecosystem: in the larger part of the year it is a hot, salty desert that is flooded regularly in the Indian monsoon season. In the dry season, the crystallized salt deposits form the “white desert” in large regions. The first metagenomic analysis of the soil samples of Kutch was published in 2013, and the data were deposited in the NCBI Sequence Read Archive. At the same time, the sequences were analyzed phylogenetically for prokaryotes, especially for bacteria. In the present work, we identified DNA sequences of recently discovered giant viruses in the soil samples from the Kutch Desert. Since most giant viruses have been discovered in biofilms in industrial cooling towers, ocean water, and freshwater ponds, we were surprised to find their DNA sequences in soil samples from a seasonally very hot and arid, salty environment.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

References

  1. 1.

    Abergel C, Legendre M, Claverie J-M (2015) The rapidly expanding universe of giant viruses: Mimivirus, Pandoravirus, Pithovirus and Mollivirus. FEMS Microbiol Rev 39(6):779–796

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Arslan D, Legendre M, Seltzer V, Abergel C, Claverie J-M (2011) Distant Mimivirus relative with a larger genome highlights the fundamental features of Megaviridae. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(42):17486–17491

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Boyer M, Yutin N, Pagnier I, Barrassi L, Fournous G, Espinosa L, Robert C, Azza S, Sun S, Rossmann MG, Suzan-Monti M, Scola BL, Koonin EV, Raoult D (2009) Giant Marseillevirus highlights the role of amoebae as a melting pot in emergence of chimeric microorganisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 106(51):21848–21853

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Campos RK, Boratto PV, Assis FL, Aguiar ERGR, Silva LCF, Albarnaz JD, Dornas FP, Trindade GS, Ferreira PP, Marques JT, Robert C, Raoult D, Kroon EG, La Scola B, Abrahão JS (2014) Samba virus: a novel mimivirus from a giant rain forest, the Brazilian Amazon. Virol J 11:95

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Colson P, Yutin N, Shabalina SA, Robert C, Fournous G, Scola BL, Raoult D, Koonin EV (2011) Viruses with more than 1,000 genes: Mamavirus, a new Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus strain, and reannotation of Mimivirus genes. Genome Biol Evol 3:737–742

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Fischer MG, Allen MJ, Wilson WH, Suttle CA (2010) Giant virus with a remarkable complement of genes infects marine zooplankton. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107(45):19508–19513

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Garza DR, Suttle CA (1995) Large double-stranded DNA viruses which cause the lysis of a marine heterotrophic nanoflagellate (Bodo sp.) occur in natural marine viral communities. Aquat Microb Ecol 9(3):203–210

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ghedin E, Claverie J-M (2005) Mimivirus relatives in the Sargasso sea. Virol J 2:62

    PubMed Central  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kerepesi C, Grolmusz V (2015) The "Giant Virus Finder" Discovers an abundance of giant viruses in the Antarctic dry valleys. arXiv:1503.05575

  10. 10.

    La Scola B, Audic S, Robert C, Jungang L, de Lamballerie X, Drancourt M, Birtles R, Claverie J-M, Raoult D (2003) A giant virus in amoebae. Science 299(5615):2033

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Legendre M, Bartoli J, Shmakova L, Jeudy S, Labadie K, Adrait A, Lescot M, Poirot O, Bertaux L, Bruley C, Couté Y, Rivkina E, Abergel C, Claverie J-M (2014) Thirty-thousand-year-old distant relative of giant icosahedral DNA viruses with a pandoravirus morphology. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111(11):4274–4279

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Pandit AS, Joshi MN, Bhargava P, Ayachit GN, Shaikh IM, Saiyed ZM, Saxena AK, Bagatharia SB (2014) Metagenomes from the saline desert of Kutch. Genome Announc 2(3)

  13. 13.

    Philippe N, Legendre M, Doutre G, Couté Y, Poirot O, Lescot M, Arslan D, Seltzer V, Bertaux L, Bruley C, Garin J, Claverie J-M, Abergel C (2013) Pandoraviruses: amoeba viruses with genomes up to 2.5 Mb reaching that of parasitic eukaryotes. Science 341(6143):281–286

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Raoult D, Audic S, Robert C, Abergel C, Renesto P, Ogata H, Scola BL, Suzan M, Claverie J-M (2004) The 1.2-megabase genome sequence of Mimivirus. Science 306(5700):1344–1350

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Venter JC, Remington K, Heidelberg JF, Halpern AL, Rusch D, Eisen JA, Wu D, Paulsen I, Nelson KE, Nelson W, Fouts DE, Levy S, Knap AH, Lomas MW, Nealson K, White O, Peterson J, Hoffman J, Parsons R, Baden-Tillson H, Pfannkoch C, Rogers Y-H, Smith HO (2004) Environmental genome shotgun sequencing of the Sargasso Sea. Science 304(5667):66–74

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Yau S, Lauro FM, DeMaere MZ, Brown MV, Thomas T, Raftery MJ, Andrews-Pfannkoch C, Lewis M, Hoffman JM, Gibson JA, Cavicchioli R (2011) Virophage control of Antarctic algal host-virus dynamics. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(15):6163–6168

    PubMed Central  Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Vince Grolmusz.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Both authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 123 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kerepesi, C., Grolmusz, V. Giant viruses of the Kutch Desert. Arch Virol 161, 721–724 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-015-2720-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Cooling Tower
  • Word Size
  • Freshwater Pond
  • Giant Virus
  • NCBI Short Read Archive