Comparative molecular characterization of novel and known piscine toti-like viruses

Liv Sandlund, Sunil K. Mor, Vikash K. Singh, Soumesh K. Padhi, Nicholas B.D. Phelps, Stian Nylund, Aase B. Mikalsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Totiviridae is a virus family well known to infect uni-cellular organisms like fungi and protozoa. In more recent years, viruses characterized as toti-like viruses, have been found in primarily arthropods, but also a couple in planarians and piscine species. These toti-like viruses share phylogenetic similarities to totiviruses; however, their genomes also includes additional coding sequences in either 5 or 3 ends expected to relate to more advanced infection mechanisms in more advanced hosts. Here, we applied next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and discovered three new toti-like viruses, one in wild common carp and one in bluegill from the USA and one in farmed lumpsucker from Norway. These are named common carp toti-like virus 1 (CCTLV-1), bluegill toti-like virus 1 (BGTLV-1), and Cyclopterus lumpus toti-like virus (CLuTLV), respectively. The genomes of these viruses have been characterized and compared to the three previously known piscine toti-like viruses, piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV) found in Atlantic salmon and the two from golden shiner, now named golden shiner toti-like virus 1 and 2 (GSTLV-1 and-2), and also to totiviruses and other toti-like viruses. We found that four piscine toti-like viruses had additional gene(s) in the 3 end of the genome, and also clustered phylogenetically based on both capsid and RdRp-genes. This cluster constituted a distant branch in the Totiviridae, and we suggest this should be defined as a separate genus named Pistolvirus, to reflect this major cluster of piscine toti-like viruses. The remaining two piscine toti-like viruses differentiated from these by lacking any additional 3 end genes and also by phylogenetical relation, but were both clustering with arthropod viruses in two different clusters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1063
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Norwegian Centennial Chair Program (NOCC), the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund, as recommended by the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, and the State of Minnesota and partially funded by Norwegian research council, project 301083.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Genomic characterization
  • Phylogeny
  • Piscine
  • Toti-like viruses
  • Totiviridae

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Comparative Study


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