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A61 Large RNA genomes: Is RNA polymerase fidelity enough?

Abstract : Large-genome Nidoviruses and Nidovirus-like viruses reside at the current boundary of largest RNA genome sizes. They code for an unusually large number of gene products matching that of small DNA viruses (e.g. DNA bacteriophages). The order of appearance and distribution of enzyme genes along various virus families (e.g. helicase and ExoN) may be seen as an evolutionary marker in these large RNA genomes lying at the genome size boundary. A positive correlation exists between (+)RNA virus genome sizes and the presence of the RNA helicase and the ExoN domains. Although the mechanistic basis of the presence of the helicase is still unclear, the role of the ExoN activity has been linked to the existence of an RNA synthesis proofreading system. In large Nidovirales, ExoN is bound to a processive replicative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and corrects mismatched bases during viral RNA synthesis. Over the last decade, a view of the overall process has been refined in Coronaviruses, and in particular in our lab (Ferron et al., PNAS, 2018). We have identified genetic markers of large RNA genomes that we wish to use to data-mine currently existing metagenomic datasets. We have also initiated a collaboration to sequence and explore new viromes that will be searched according to these criteria. Likewise, we have a collection of purified viral RdRps that are currently being used to generate RNA synthesis products that will be compared to existing NGS datasets of cognate viruses. We will be able to have an idea about how much genetic diversity is possibly achievable by viral RdRp (‘tunable fidelity’) versus the detectable diversity (i.e. after selection in the infected cell) that is actually produced.
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Contributor : Julien Caugant <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, May 20, 2020 - 10:15:39 AM
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F. Ferron, B. Canard. A61 Large RNA genomes: Is RNA polymerase fidelity enough?. Virus Evolution, Oxford University Press, 2019, 5 (Supplement_1), pp.179-184. ⟨10.1093/ve/vez002.060⟩. ⟨hal-02613419⟩



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