A previous report indicated that prototype chlorovirus PBCV-1 replicated in two Chlorella variabilis algal strains, NC64A and Syngen 2–3, that are ex-endosymbionts isolated from the protozoan Paramecium bursaria. Surprisingly, plaque-forming viruses on Syngen 2–3 lawns were often higher than on NC64A lawns from indigenous water samples. These differences led to the discovery of viruses that exclusively replicate in Syngen 2–3 cells, named Only Syngen (OSy) viruses. OSy-NE5, the prototype virus for the proposed new species, had a linear dsDNA genome of 327 kb with 44-nucleotide-long, incompletely base-paired, covalently closed hairpin ends. Each hairpin structure was followed by an identical 2612 base-paired inverted sequence after which the DNA sequence diverged. OSy-NE5 encoded 357 predicted CDSs and 13 tRNAs. Interestingly, OSy-NE5 attached to and initiated infection in NC64A cells but infectious progeny viruses were not produced; thus OSy-NE5 replication in NC64A is blocked at some later stage of replication.
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