We isolated and characterized a novel positive-sense, single-stranded RNA virus from Aedes larvae collected on Okushiri Island, Hokkaido, Japan. This virus, designated Okushiri virus (OKV), replicated in the Aedes albopictus cell line C6/36 with severe cytopathic effects and produced a large number of spherical viral particles that were 50-70 nm in diameter and released into the cell culture medium. The OKV genome consisted of 9,704 nucleotides, excluding the poly(A) tail at the 3′-terminus, and contained three major open reading frames (ORF1, ORF2, and ORF3). ORF1 encoded a putative protein of approximately 268 kDa that included a methyltransferase domain, FtsJ-like methyltransferase domain, helicase domain, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase domain. The genome organization and results of a phylogenetic analysis based on the amino acid sequence predicted from the nucleotide sequence indicated that OKV is a member of a new insect virus group of negeviruses with a possible evolutionary relationship to some plant viruses. ORF2 and ORF3 were suggested to encode hypothetical membrane-associated proteins of approximately 45 kDa and 22 kDa, respectively. This is the first study on a novel negevirus isolated from mosquito larvae in Japan.
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