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A Bat-Derived Putative Cross-Family Recombinant Coronavirus with a Reovirus Gene

A Bat-Derived Putative Cross-Family Recombinant Coronavirus with a Reovirus Gene

Plos Pathogens 12(9): E1005883

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) in 2002 and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in 2012 has generated enormous interest in the biodiversity, genomics and cross-species transmission potential of coronaviruses, especially those from bats, the second most speciose order of mammals. Herein, we identified a novel coronavirus, provisionally designated Rousettus bat coronavirus GCCDC1 (Ro-BatCoV GCCDC1), in the rectal swab samples of Rousettus leschenaulti bats by using pan-coronavirus RT-PCR and next-generation sequencing. Although the virus is similar to Rousettus bat coronavirus HKU9 (Ro-BatCoV HKU9) in genome characteristics, it is sufficiently distinct to be classified as a new species according to the criteria defined by the International Committee of Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). More striking was that Ro-BatCoV GCCDC1 contained a unique gene integrated into the 3'-end of the genome that has no homologs in any known coronavirus, but which sequence and phylogeny analyses indicated most likely originated from the p10 gene of a bat orthoreovirus. Subgenomic mRNA and cellular-level observations demonstrated that the p10 gene is functional and induces the formation of cell syncytia. Therefore, here we report a putative heterologous inter-family recombination event between a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA virus and a double-stranded segmented RNA virus, providing insights into the fundamental mechanisms of viral evolution.

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Accession: 057020118

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PMID: 27676249

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