Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 29458508
J. Gen. Virol. 2018 Mar;99:416-421
For most archaeal viruses, the mechanisms of genome replication are poorly understood, while the nature and provenance of their replication proteins are usually unknown. Here we show that replication of the circular double-stranded DNA genome of the halophilic Natrinema virus SNJ1, a member of the family Sphaerolipoviridae, is associated with the accumulation of single-stranded replicative intermediates, which is typical of rolling-circle replication. The homologues of RepA, the only enzyme that is indispensable for SNJ1 genome replication, are widespread in archaea and are most closely related to bacterial transposases of the IS91 and ISCR family insertion sequences, as opposed to other viral rolling-circle replication initiation proteins. Our results provide insights into the replication mechanism of archaeal viruses and emphasize the evolutionary connection between viruses and other types of mobile genetic elements.