Extensive conservation of prokaryotic ribosomal binding sites in known and novel picobirnaviruses

Siddharth R. Krishnamurthy, David Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Currently, the Leviviridae and Cystoviridae are the only two recognized families of prokaryotic RNA viruses. Picobirnaviruses, which are bisegmented double-stranded RNA viruses commonly found in animal stool samples, are currently thought to be animal viruses, but have not been propagated in cell culture or in an animal model. We hypothesize that picobirnaviruses are prokaryotic RNA viruses. We identified and analyzed the genomes of 38 novel picobirnaviruses and determined that a classical bacterial sequence motif, the ribosomal binding site (RBS), is present in the 5′ untranslated regions (5′ UTRs) of all of the novel as well as all previously published picobirnavirus sequences. Among all viruses, enrichment of the RBS motif is only observed in viral families that infect prokaryotes and not in eukaryotic infecting viral families. These results will enable future studies to more accurately understand the biology of picobirnaviruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-114
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Bacteriophage
  • Cystoviridae
  • Cystovirus
  • Leviviridae
  • Levivirus
  • Phage
  • Picobirnaviridae
  • Picobirnavirus
  • RBS
  • RNA bacteriophage
  • RNA phage
  • Ribosomal binding site
  • Shine-dalgarno sequence


Dive into the research topics of 'Extensive conservation of prokaryotic ribosomal binding sites in known and novel picobirnaviruses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this