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Journal of Virology

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Archaebacteria -- Molecular aspects, Molecular biology, Viruses, Archaebacteria -- Host-virus relationships, Thermophilic microorganisms


The Nanoarchaeota are small cells with reduced genomes that are found attached to and dependent on a second archaeal cell for their growth and replication. Initially found in marine hydrothermal environments and subsequently in terrestrial geothermal hot springs, the Nanoarchaeota species that have been described are obligate ectobionts, each with a different host species. However, no viruses have been described that infect the Nanoarchaeota. Here we identify a virus infecting Nanoarchaeota using a combination of viral metagenomic and bioinformatic approaches. This virus, tentatively named Nanoarchaeota Virus 1 (NAV1), consists of a 35.6kb circular DNA genome encoding for 52 proteins. We further demonstrate that this virus is broadly distributed among Yellowstone National Park hot springs. NAV1 is one of the first examples of a virus infecting a single celled organism that is itself an ectobiont of another single celled organism.


© 2020 American Society for Microbiology.

This is the Author's Accepted Manuscript for an article that was subsequently published in Virology; the version of record may be accessed at

Note: At the time of writing, Colleen Rooney was affiliated with Montana State University.



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