Identification of circular single-stranded DNA viruses in faecal samples of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), moose (Alces alces) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) inhabiting the Colorado San Juan Mountains

Simona Kraberger, Kara Waits, Jake Ivan, Eric Newkirk, Sue VandeWoude, Arvind Varsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


The San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado provide subalpine habitat for a suite of mammalian species including Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), moose (Alces alces) and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). In the winter field season of 2016 five faecal samples from lynx, and one each from moose and snowshoe hare were collected to identify small single-stranded DNA viruses associated with these three prominent species. Thirty-two novel viruses were identified and classified as members of two well established ssDNA families Genomoviridae (n = 22) and Microviridae (n = 10) and one recently proposed new family, Smacoviridae (n = 1). In addition one highly novel circular ssDNA virus was identified which at present does not group with any known family. A high level of genomovirus diversity was identified from faeces collected between and across the three mammal species, with full genome-wide pairwise comparisons showing 57%–97% identity. Twenty genomoviruses can be assigned to the genus Gemycircularvirus and represent 11 species, and two into a distinct species in the genus Gemykolovirus. The single smacovirus identified from moose also represents a distinct smacovirus species. Ten microviruses, seven from moose, one from snowshoe hare and two from lynx, all are part of the Gokushovirinae subfamily. The two from lynx are highly similar to a microvirus previously detected in domestic cat (sharing 88%–90% genome-wide identity), indicating this may be a common felid gut microbiome associated virus. Our findings highlight the broad range of diverse ssDNA viruses present in three mammals inhabiting the San Juan Mountains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalInfection, Genetics and Evolution
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018



  • Canada lynx
  • Genomoviridae
  • Microviridae
  • Moose
  • Single-stranded DNA virus
  • Smacoviridae
  • Snowshoe hare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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