Unravelling the single-stranded DNA virome of the New Zealand blackfly

Simona Kraberger, Kara Schmidlin, Rafaela S. Fontenele, Matthew Walters, Arvind Varsani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Over the last decade, arthropods have been shown to harbour a rich diversity of viruses. Through viral metagenomics a large diversity of single-stranded (ss) DNA viruses have been identified. Here we examine the ssDNA virome of the hematophagous New Zealand blackfly using viral metagenomics. Our investigation reveals a plethora of novel ssDNA viral genomes, some of which cluster in the viral families Genomoviridae (n = 9), Circoviridae (n = 1), and Microviridae (n = 108), others in putative families that, at present, remain unclassified (n = 20) and one DNA molecule that only encodes a replication associated protein. Among these novel viruses, two putative multi-component virus genomes were recovered, and these are most closely related to a Tongan flying fox faeces-associated multi-component virus. Given that the only other known multi-component circular replication-associated (Rep) protein encoding single-stranded (CRESS) DNA viruses infecting plants are in the families Geminiviridae (members of the genus Begomovirus) and Nanoviridae, it appears these are likely a new multi-component virus group which may be associated with animals. This study reiterates the diversity of ssDNA viruses in nature and in particular with the New Zealand blackflies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number532
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Austrosimulium sp
  • Blackfly
  • CRESS DNA virus
  • Circoviridae
  • Genomoviridae
  • Sandfly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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