Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 36401331
Link to DOI – 19010.1186/s12985-022-01918-8
Virol J 2022 Nov; 19(1): 190
Aedes albopictus is a public health threat for its worldwide spread and ability to transmit arboviruses. Understanding mechanisms of mosquito immunity can provide new tools to control arbovirus spread. The genomes of Aedes mosquitoes contain hundreds of nonretroviral endogenous viral elements (nrEVEs), which are enriched in piRNA clusters and produce piRNAs, with the potential to target cognate viruses. Recently, one nrEVE was shown to limit cognate viral infection through nrEVE-derived piRNAs. These findings suggest that nrEVEs constitute an archive of past viral infection and that the landscape of viral integrations may be variable across populations depending on their viral exposure.We used bioinformatics and molecular approaches to identify known and novel (i.e. absent in the reference genome) viral integrations in the genome of wild collected Aedes albopictus mosquitoes and characterize their virome.We showed that the landscape of viral integrations is dynamic with seven novel viral integrations being characterized, but does not correlate with the virome, which includes both viral species known and unknown to infect mosquitoes. However, the small RNA coverage profile of nrEVEs and the viral genomic contigs we identified confirmed an interaction among these elements and the piRNA and siRNA pathways in mosquitoes.Mosquitoes nrEVEs have been recently described as a new form of heritable, sequence-specific mechanism of antiviral immunity. Our results contribute to understanding the dynamic distribution of nrEVEs in the genomes of wild Ae. albopictus and their interaction with mosquito viruses.