Ubiquitous Genomic and Metagenomic Signatures of Giant Viruses

Ubiquitous Genomic and Metagenomic Signatures of Giant Viruses

Genomic and metagenomic signatures of giant viruses are ubiquitous in water samples from sewage, inland lake, wastewater treatment plant, and municipal water supply in Mumbai, India

Anirvan Chatterjee, Thomas Sicheritz-Pontén, Rajesh Yadav, Kiran Kondabagil 


We report the detection of genomic signatures of giant viruses (GVs) in the metagenomes of three environment samples from Mumbai, India, namely, a pre-filter of a household water purifier, a sludge sample from wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), and a drying bed sample of the same WWTP. The de novo assembled contigs of each sample yielded 700 to 2000 maximum unique matches with the GV genomic database. In all three samples, the maximum number of reads aligned to Pandoraviridae, followed by Phycodnaviridae, Mimiviridae, Iridoviridae, and other Megaviruses.

We also isolated GVs from every environmental sample (n = 20) we tested using co-culture of the sample with Acanthomoeba castellanii. From this, four randomly selected GVs were subjected to the genomic characterization that showed remarkable cladistic homology with the three GV families viz., Mimivirirdae (Mimivirus Bombay [MVB]), Megaviruses (Powai lake megavirus [PLMV] and Bandra megavius [BAV]), and Marseilleviridae (Kurlavirus [KV]). All 4 isolates exhibited remarkable genomic identity with respective GV families. Functionally, the genomes were indistinguishable from other previously reported GVs, encoding nearly all COGs across extant family members. Further, the uncanny genomic homogeneity exhibited by individual GV families across distant geographies indicate their yet to be ascertained ecological significance.

Scientific Reportsvolume 9, Article number: 3690 (2019), DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-40171-y

Source: Nature.com