Metavirome diversity analysis through microbiome study of the Himalayan hot spring sediments

Viruses are the most prodigious repertory of the genetic material on the earth. They are elusive, breakneck, evolutionary life particles that constitute a riveting concealed world. Environmental viruses have been obscurely explored, and hence, such an intriguing world of viruses was studied in the Himalayan Geothermal Belt of Indian peninsula at Sikkim corridor through hot springs. The hot springs located at the North Sikkim district were selected for the current study. The solfataric mud sediment samples were pooled from both the hot springs. The virus community showed significant diversity among the two hot springs of Yume Samdung. Reads for viruses among the mud sediments at Old Yume Samdung hot springs (OYS) was observed to be 11% and in the case of New Yume Samdung hot springs (NYS) it was 6%. Both the hot springs were abundant in dsDNA viromes. The metavirome reads in both the OYS and NYS hot spring mud sediments showed the predominance of Caudovirales; Herpesvirales; Ortervirales among which viral reads from Siphoviridae, Myoviridae, Phycodnaviridae and Podoviridae were abundantly present. Other viral communities belonged to families like Baculoviridae, Mimiviridae, Parvoviridae, Marseilleviridae etc. Interestingly, in the case of NYS, the unassigned group reads belonged to some unclassified giant DNA viruses like genera Pandoravirus and Pithovirus. Other interesting findings were – reads for Badnavirus having ds (RT-DNA) was exclusively found in NYS whereas Rubulavirus having ss(-)RNA was exclusively found in OYS sample. This is the first ever report on viruses from any hot springs of Sikkim till date.

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