Multiple infiltration and cross-species transmission of foamy viruses across Paleozoic to Cenozoic era [article]

Yicong Chen, Yu-Yi Zhang, Xiaoman Wei, Jie Cui
2020 bioRxiv   pre-print
Foamy viruses (FVs) are complex retroviruses that can infect humans and other animals. In this study, by integrating transcriptomic and genomic data, we discovered 412 FVs from 6 lineages in amphibians, which significantly increased the known set of FVs in amphibians. Among these lineages, salamander FVs maintained a co-evolutionary pattern with their hosts that could be dated back to the Paleozoic era, while, on the contrary, frog FVs were much more likely acquired from cross-species (class
more » ... el) transmission in the Cenozoic era. In addition, we found three distinct FV lineages had integrated into the genome of a salamander. Unexpectedly, we identified a potential exogenous form of FV circulated in caecilian, demonstrating the existence of exogenous form of FV besides mammals. Our discovery of rare phenomena in amphibian FVs has overturned our collective understanding of the macroevolution of the complex retrovirus.
doi:10.1101/2020.12.18.423569 fatcat:znwmq3m37zbjdok6nhob5h2m6a