State Key Laboratory for Managing Biotic and Chemical Threats to the Quality and Safety of Agro-Products, Key Laboratory of Biotechnology in Plant Protection of Ministry of Agriculture and Zhejiang Province, Institute of Plant Virology, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China.
Negeviruses are a proposed group of insect-specific viruses that can be separated into two distinct phylogenetic clades, Nelorpivirus and Sandewavirus. Negeviruses are well-known for their wide geographic distribution and broad host range among hematophagous insects. In this study, the full genomes of two novel negeviruses from each of these clades were identified by RNA extraction and sequencing from a single dungfly (Scathophaga furcata) collected from the Arctic Yellow River Station, where these genomes are the first negeviruses from cold zone regions to be discovered. Nelorpivirus dungfly1 (NVD1) and Sandewavirus dungfly1 (SVD1) have the typical negevirus genome organization and there was a very high coverage of viral transcripts. Small interfering RNAs derived from both viruses were readily detected in S. furcata, clearly showing that negeviruses are targeted by the host antiviral RNA interference (RNAi) pathway. These results and subsequent in silico analysis (studies) of public database and published virome data showed that the hosts of nege-like viruses include insects belonging to many orders as well as various non-insects in addition to the hematophagous insects previously reported. Phylogenetic analysis reveals at least three further groups of negeviruses, as well as several poorly resolved solitary branches, filling in the gaps within the two sub-groups of negeviruses and plant-associated viruses in the Kitaviridae. The results of this study will contribute to a better understanding of the geographic distribution, host range, evolution and host antiviral immune responses of negeviruses.