Volume 96, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The is a diverse family of negative-sense single-stranded RNA viruses, many of which infect vertebrate hosts and are transmitted by hematophagous arthropods. Others appear to be arthropod specific, circulating only within arthropod populations. Herein, we report the isolation and characterization of three novel viruses from mosquitoes collected from the Americas. Coot Bay virus was isolated from mosquitoes collected in the Everglades National Park, Florida; Rio Chico virus was isolated from mosquitoes collected in Panama; and Balsa virus was isolated from two pools of mosquitoes collected in Colombia. Sequence analysis indicated that the viruses share a similar genome organization to Arboretum virus and Puerto Almendras virus that had previously been isolated from mosquitoes collected in Peru. Each genome features the five canonical rhabdovirus structural protein genes as well as a gene encoding a class 1A viroporin-like protein (U1) located between the G and L genes (3′-N-P-M-G-U1-L-5′). Phylogenetic analysis of complete L protein sequences indicated that all five viruses cluster in a unique clade that is relatively deeply rooted in the ancestry of animal rhabdoviruses. The failure of all viruses in this clade to grow in newborn mice or vertebrate cells in culture suggests that they may be poorly adapted to replication in vertebrates.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Dietzgen RG, Calisher CH, Kurath G, Kuzman IV, Rodriguez LL, Stone DM, Tesh RB, Tordo N, Walker PJ, Wetzel T, Whitfield AE, King AMQ, Adams MJ, Carstens EB, Lefkowitz EJ, , 2012. Rhabdoviridae. , eds. Virus Taxonomy, Ninth Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. San Diego, CA: Elsevier, 654681. [Google Scholar]
  2. Kuzmin IV, Novella IS, Dietzgen RG, Padhi A, Rupprecht CE, , 2009. The rhabdoviruses: biodiversity, phylogenetics, and evolution. Infect Genet Evol 9: 541553.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  3. Kuzmin IV, Walker PJ, Vasilakis N, Gubler DJ, , 2016. Vector-borne rhabdoviruses. , eds. Arboviruses: Molecular Biology, Evolution and Control. Norfolk, VA: Caister Academic Press, 389. [Google Scholar]
  4. Longdon B, Obbard DJ, Jiggins FM, , 2010. Sigma viruses from three species of Drosophila form a major new clade in the rhabdovirus phylogeny. Proc Biol Sci 277: 3544.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  5. Li CX, Shi M, Tian JH, Lin XD, Kang YJ, Chen LJ, Qin XC, Xu J, Holmes EC, Zhang YZ, , 2015. Unprecedented genomic diversity of RNA viruses in arthropods reveals the ancestry of negative-sense RNA viruses. eLife 4: e05378. [Google Scholar]
  6. Vasilakis N, Castro-Llanos F, Widen SG, Aguilar PV, Guzman H, Guevara C, Fernandez R, Auguste AJ, Wood TG, Popov V, Mundal K, Ghedin E, Kochel TJ, Holmes EC, Walker PJ, Tesh RB, , 2014. Arboretum and Puerto Almendras viruses: two novel rhabdoviruses isolated from mosquitoes in Peru. J Gen Virol 95: 787792.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  7. Vasilakis N, Forrester NL, Palacios G, Nasar F, Savji N, Rossi SL, Guzman H, Wood TG, Popov V, Gorchakov R, Gonzalez AV, Haddow AD, Watts DM, da Rosa AP, Weaver SC, Lipkin WI, Tesh RB, , 2013. Negevirus: a proposed new taxon of insect-specific viruses with wide geographic distribution. J Virol 87: 24752488.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  8. Lohse M, Bolger AM, Nagel A, Fernie AR, Lunn JE, Stitt M, Usadel B, , 2012. RobiNA: a user-friendly, integrated software solution for RNA-Seq-based transcriptomics. Nucleic Acids Res 40: W622W627.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  9. Simpson JT, Wong K, Jackman SD, Schein JE, Jones SJ, Birol I, , 2009. ABySS: a parallel assembler for short read sequence data. Genome Res 19: 11171123.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  10. Langmead B, Salzberg SL, , 2012. Fast gapped-read alignment with Bowtie 2. Nat Methods 9: 357359.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  11. Robinson JT, Thorvaldsdottir H, Winckler W, Guttman M, Lander ES, Getz G, Mesirov JP, , 2011. Integrative genomics viewer. Nat Biotechnol 29: 2426.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  12. Edgar RC, , 2004. MUSCLE: a multiple sequence alignment method with reduced time and space complexity. BMC Bioinformatics 5: 113.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  13. Tamura K, Stecher G, Peterson D, Filipski A, Kumar S, , 2013. MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 6.0. Mol Biol Evol 30: 27252729.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  14. Talavera G, Castresana J, , 2007. Improvement of phylogenies after removing divergent and ambiguously aligned blocks from protein sequence alignments. Syst Biol 56: 564577.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  15. Vasilakis N, Widen S, Mayer SV, Seymour R, Wood TG, Popov V, Guzman H, Travassos da Rosa AP, Ghedin E, Holmes EC, Walker PJ, Tesh RB, , 2013. Niakha virus: a novel member of the family Rhabdoviridae isolated from phlebotomine sandflies in Senegal. Virology 444: 8089.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  16. Altschul SF, Madden TL, Schaffer AA, Zhang J, Zhang Z, Miller W, Lipman DJ, , 1997. Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs. Nucleic Acids Res 25: 33893402.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  17. Green TJ, Zhang X, Wertz GW, Luo M, , 2006. Structure of the vesicular stomatitis virus nucleoprotein-RNA complex. Science 313: 357360.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  18. Luo M, Green TJ, Zhang X, Tsao J, Qiu S, , 2007. Conserved characteristics of the rhabdovirus nucleoprotein. Virus Res 129: 246251.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  19. Ribeiro EA, Favier A, Gerard FCA, Leyrat C, Brutscher B, Blondel D, Ruigrok RWH, Blackledge M, Jamin M, , 2008. Solution structure of the C-terminal nucleoprotein-RNA binding domain of the vesicular stomatitis virus phosphoprotein. J Mol Biol 382: 525538.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  20. Karlin D, Ferron F, Canard B, Longhi S, , 2003. Structural disorder and modular organization in Paramyxovirinae N and P. J Gen Virol 84: 32393252.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  21. Walker PJ, Firth C, Widen SG, Blasdell KR, Guzman H, Wood TG, Paradkar PN, Holmes EC, Tesh RB, Vasilakis N, , 2015. Evolution of genome size and complexity in the Rhabdoviridae . PLoS Pathog 11: e1004664.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  22. Spiropoulou CF, Nichol ST, , 1993. A small highly basic protein is encoded in overlapping frame within the P gene of vesicular stomatitis virus. J Virol 67: 31033110. [Google Scholar]
  23. Peluso RW, Richardson JC, Talon J, Lock M, , 1996. Identification of a set of proteins (C′ and C) encoded by the bicistronic P gene of the Indiana serotype of vesicular stomatitis virus and analysis of their effect on transcription by the viral RNA polymerase. Virology 218: 335342.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  24. Gubala AJ, Proll DF, Barnard RT, Cowled CJ, Crameri SG, Hyatt AD, Boyle DB, , 2008. Genomic characterisation of Wongabel virus reveals novel genes within the Rhabdoviridae . Virology 376: 1323.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  25. Freed EO, , 2002. Viral late domains. J Virol 76: 46794687.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  26. Walker PJ, Kongsuwan K, , 1999. Deduced structural model for animal rhabdovirus glycoproteins. J Gen Virol 80: 12111220.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  27. Roche S, Bressanelli S, Rey FA, Gaudin Y, , 2006. Crystal structure of the low-pH form of the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein G. Science 313: 187191.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  28. Nieva JL, Madan V, Carrasco L, , 2012. Viroporins: structure and biological functions. Nat Rev Microbiol 10: 563574.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  29. Walker PJ, Dietzgen RG, Joubert DA, Blasdell KR, , 2011. Rhabdovirus accessory genes. Virus Res 162: 110125.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  30. Joubert DA, Blasdell KR, Audsley MD, Trinidad L, Monaghan P, Dave KA, Lieu K, Amos-Ritchie R, Jans DA, Moseley GW, Gorman JJ, Walker PJ, , 2014. Bovine ephemeral fever rhabdovirus a1 protein has viroporin-like properties and binds importin b1 and importin 7. J Virol 88: 15911603.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  31. Bodewes R, Ruiz-Gonzalez A, Schurch AC, Osterhaus AD, Smits SL, , 2014. Novel divergent rhabdovirus in feces of red fox, Spain. Emerg Infect Dis 20: 21722174.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  32. Bolling BG, Weaver SC, Tesh RB, Vasilakis N, , 2015. Insect-specific virus discovery: significance for the arbovirus community. Viruses 7: 49114928.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  33. Shi M, Lin XD, Vasilakis N, Tian JH, Li CX, Chen LJ, Eastwood G, Diao XN, Chen MH, Chen X, Qin XC, Widen SG, Wood TG, Tesh RB, Xu J, Holmes EC, Zhang YZ, , 2015. Divergent viruses discovered in arthropods and vertebrates revise the evolutionary history of the Flaviviridae and related viruses. J Virol 90: 659669.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]
  34. Kerschner JH, Calisher CH, Vorndam AV, Francy DB, , 1986. Identification and characterization of Bahia Grande, Reed Ranch and Muir Springs viruses, related members of the family Rhabdoviridae with widespread distribution in the United States. J Gen Virol 67: 10811089.[Crossref] [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

Supplemental Figures

  • Received : 18 May 2016
  • Accepted : 27 Sep 2016
  • Published online : 11 Jan 2017

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error