Publications by authors named "Antoni Exbrayat"

3 Publications

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A library preparation optimized for metagenomics of RNA viruses.

Mol Ecol Resour 2021 Mar 13. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

ASTRE, Cirad, INRAE, University of Montpellier, Montpellier, France.

Our understanding of the viral communities associated to animals has not yet reached the level attained on the bacteriome. This situation is due to, among others, technical challenges in adapting metagenomics using high-throughput sequencing to the study of RNA viromes in animals. Although important developments have been achieved in most steps of viral metagenomics, there is yet a key step that has received little attention: the library preparation. This situation differs from bacteriome studies in which developments in library preparation have largely contributed to the democratisation of metagenomics. Here, we present a library preparation optimized for metagenomics of RNA viruses from insect vectors of viral diseases. The library design allows a simple PCR-based preparation, such as those routinely used in bacterial metabarcoding, that is adapted to shotgun sequencing as required in viral metagenomics. We first optimized our library preparation using mock viral communities and then validated a full metagenomic approach incorporating our preparation in two pilot studies with field-caught insect vectors; one including a comparison with a published metagenomic protocol. Our approach provided a fold increase in virus-like sequences compared to other studies, and nearly-full genomes from new virus species. Moreover, our results suggested conserved trends in virome composition within a population of a mosquito species. Finally, the sensitivity of our approach was compared to a commercial diagnostic PCR for the detection of an arbovirus in field-caught insect vectors. Our approach could facilitate studies on viral communities from animals and the democratization of metagenomics in community ecology of viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1755-0998.13378DOI Listing
March 2021

The Genome Segments of Bluetongue Virus Differ in Copy Number in a Host-Specific Manner.

J Virol 2020 12 9;95(1). Epub 2020 Dec 9.

CIRAD, UMR ASTRE, Montpellier, France

Genome segmentation is mainly thought to facilitate reassortment. Here, we show that segmentation can also allow differences in segment abundance in populations of bluetongue virus (BTV). BTV has a genome consisting in 10 segments, and its cycle primarily involves periodic alternation between ruminants and biting midges. We have developed a reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) approach to quantify each segment in wild BTV populations sampled in both ruminants and midges during an epizootic. Segment frequencies deviated from equimolarity in all hosts. Interestingly, segment frequencies were reproducible and distinct between ruminants and biting midges. Beyond a putative regulatory role in virus expression, this phenomenon could lead to different evolution rates between segments. The variation in viral gene frequencies remains a largely unexplored aspect of within-host genetics. This phenomenon is often considered to be specific to multipartite viruses. Multipartite viruses have segmented genomes, but in contrast to segmented viruses, their segments are each encapsidated alone in a virion. A main hypothesis explaining the evolution of multipartism is that, compared to segmented viruses, it facilitates the regulation of segment abundancy, and the genes the segments carry, within a host. These differences in gene frequencies could allow for expression regulation. Here, we show that wild populations of a segmented virus, bluetongue virus (BTV), also present unequal segment frequencies. BTV cycles between ruminants and biting midges. As expected from a role in expression regulation, segment frequencies tended to show specific values that differed between ruminants and midges. Our results expand previous knowledge on gene frequency variation and call for studies on its role and conservation beyond multipartite viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01834-20DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7737730PMC
December 2020

Identification of Eilat virus and prevalence of infection among Culex pipiens L. populations, Morocco, 2016.

Virology 2019 04 12;530:85-88. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Department of animal pathology and public health. Hassan II Agronomy & Veterinary Medicine Institute, Rabat, Morocco. Electronic address:

Eilat virus (EILV) is described as one of the few alphaviruses restricted to insects. We report the record of a nearly-complete sequence of an alphavirus genome showing 95% identity with EILV during a metagenomic analysis performed on 1488 unblood-fed females and 1076 larvae of the mosquito Culex pipiens captured in Rabat (Morocco). Genetic distance and phylogenetic analyses placed the EILV-Morocco as a variant of EILV. The observed infection rates in both larvae and adults suggested an active circulation of the virus in Rabat and its maintenance in the environment either through vertical transmission or through horizontal infection of larvae in breeding sites. This is the first report of EILV out of Israel and in Culex pipiens populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2019.02.007DOI Listing
April 2019