Novel RNA viruses from the native range of Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, the causal fungal agent of ash dieback

Wajeeha Shamsi, Hideki Kondo, Sven Ulrich, Daniel Rigling, Simone Prospero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The native Japanese population of the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, the causal agent of ash dieback in Europe, was screened for viruses using a high-throughput sequencing method. Five RNA viruses were detected in 116 fungal isolates sequenced via Illumina RNA-seq platform, with an overall virus prevalence of 11.2%. The viruses were completely sequenced by RNA ligase mediated rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RLM-RACE) followed by Sanger sequencing. The sequences appear to represent new species from three established families (Mito-, Endorna- and Partitiviridae), one recognized genus (Botybirnavirus) and a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus in the order Bunyavirales from the proposed family “Mybuviridae”. The highest prevalence was found for the mitovirus (7.8%), that had two genomic forms (linear and circular), while the other viruses were detected each in one isolate. Co-infection of a mitovirus and an endornavirus was also observed in one of the infected isolates. Here we describe the molecular characterization of the identified viruses. This study expands the diversity of viruses in H. fraxineus and provides the basis for investigating the virus-mediated control of ash dieback in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article number198901
JournalVirus research
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2022


  • Ash dieback
  • Biological control
  • Circular RNA
  • Invasive pathogens
  • Mitovirus
  • Mycovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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