A phylogenomic framework for charting the diversity and evolution of giant viruses


Large DNA viruses of the phylum Nucleocytoviricota have recently emerged as important members of ecosystems around the globe that challenge traditional views of viral complexity. Numerous members of this phylum that cannot be classified within established families have recently been reported, and there is presently a strong need for a robust phylogenomic and taxonomic framework for these viruses. Here, we report a comprehensive phylogenomic analysis of the Nucleocytoviricota, present a set of giant virus orthologous groups (GVOGs) together with a benchmarked reference phylogeny, and delineate a hierarchical taxonomy within this phylum. We show that the majority of Nucleocytoviricota diversity can be partitioned into 6 orders, 32 families, and 344 genera, substantially expanding the number of currently recognized taxonomic ranks for these viruses. We integrate our results within a taxonomy that has been adopted for all viruses to establish a unifying framework for the study of Nucleocytoviricota diversity, evolution, and environmental distribution

PLoS biology, 19(10)
Mohammad 'Monir' Moniruzzaman
Mohammad 'Monir' Moniruzzaman
Assistant Professor of Marine Biology and Ecology