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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9100-9105
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Early online date2 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2015


We report the discovery and characterization of a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) mycovirus isolated from the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus fumigatus tetramycovirus-1 (AfuTmV-1), which reveals several unique features not found previously in positive-strand RNA viruses, including the fact that it represents the first dsRNA (to our knowledge) that is not only infectious as a purified entity but also as a naked dsRNA. The AfuTmV-1 genome consists of four capped dsRNAs, the largest of which encodes an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) containing a unique GDNQ motif normally characteristic of negative-strand RNA viruses. The third largest dsRNA encodes an S-adenosyl methionine–dependent methyltransferase capping enzyme and the smallest dsRNA a P-A-S–rich protein that apparently coats but does not encapsidate the viral genome as visualized by atomic force microscopy. A combination of a capping enzyme with a picorna-like RdRP in the AfuTmV-1 genome is a striking case of chimerism and the first example (to our knowledge) of such a phenomenon. AfuTmV-1 appears to be intermediate between dsRNA and positive-strand ssRNA viruses, as well as between encapsidated and capsidless RNA viruses


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Lakkhana Kanhayuwa, Ioly Kotta-Loizou, Selin Özkan, A. Patrick Gunning, and Robert H. A. Coutts, 'A novel mycovirus from Aspergillus fumigatus contains four unique dsRNAs as its genome and is infectious as dsRNA', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), Vol. 112 (29): 9100-9105; July 2, 2015. The version of record is available online via doi:

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