Metaviromics of namib desert salt pans: a novel lineage of haloarchaeal salterproviruses and a rich source of ssDNA viruses

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 13
  • Abstract:

    Viral communities of two different salt pans located in the Namib Desert, Hosabes and Eisfeld, were investigated using a combination of multiple displacement amplification of metaviromic DNA and deep sequencing, and provided comprehensive sequence data on both ssDNA and dsDNA viral community structures. Read and contig annotations through online pipelines showed that the salt pans harbored largely unknown viral communities. Through network analysis, we were able to assign a large portion of the unknown reads to a diverse group of ssDNA viruses. Contigs belonging to the subfamily Gokushovirinae were common in both environmental datasets. Analysis of haloarchaeal virus contigs revealed the presence of three contigs distantly related with His1, indicating a possible new lineage of salterproviruses in the Hosabes playa. Based on viral richness and read mapping analyses, the salt pan metaviromes were novel and most closely related to each other while showing a low degree of overlap with other environmental viromes.