A Stinging Tale: Arizona Scorpion Reveals an Ancient Lineage of Polyomaviruses Link

A Stinging Tale: Arizona Scorpion Reveals an Ancient Lineage of Polyomaviruses Link

April 10, 2019

Address

727 E. Tyler St.
Tempe, AZ 85281

Location

Biodesign Institute, Auditorium

Date and Time

April 19, 2019, 12:00 pm (Length: 1 hour 0 minutes)

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Kara Schmidlin, Graduate Student, Biodesign Center for Fundamental and Applied Microbiomics

Arachnids belong to the phylum Arthropoda, which is the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. Scorpions are one the oldest terrestrial arthropods with fossil records dating back 430 million years. They are venomous, predatory animals that belong to the class Arachnida. Nearly 1400 species are recognized worldwide and scorpions are found in wide range of ecosystems. To date, viruses associated with these arachnids have been under-sampled and understudied. High through put sequencing was utilized to explore the diversity of DNA viruses associated with bark scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus) collected in the greater Phoenix area. Known animal polyomaviruses are non-enveloped viruses with a circular dsDNA genome that range in size from ~3.9-7.3 kb originally identified in mice but have since been identified in a variety of other mammals, birds, amphibians and fish. Polyomavirus species have a restricted host range which may indicate co-divergence with their hosts. Here, we report a unique lineage of viruses from scorpions that are highly likely ancestral or distantly related to polyomaviruses. The identification and characterization of these viruses will provide further insights regarding the evolutionary history of polyomaviruses.

This is part of the Biodesign Center for Immunotherapy, Vaccines and Virotherapy Seminar Series.