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Diversité et écologie des virus associés aux arthropodes : des communautés aux génomes

Abstract : High throughput sequencing technologies have revealed the extraordinary diversity of viral sequences in hitherto largely unexplored host groups. Thus, our knowledge about arthropod viruses, infecting the most diverse and abundant animals on Earth, was hitherto essentially reduced to species of economical and medical interest. New data on viral diversity in arthropods illustrate the need to expand viral inventory at the scale of the ecosystem and to include viruses as an essential component of their functioning and their evolution.In my thesis, I developed and applied two approaches to study the diversity of viruses in arthropods and how virus circulate in ecosystems, focusing on species of agronomic interest: (i) a virus-centered approach by exploring nucleotidic sequence databases, searching for the presence of a group of small DNA viruses infecting arthropods, the densoviruses (ii) an arthropod-centered approach at the scale of the ecosystem, using a viral metagenomic method to analyze viral communities associated with arthropods from different trophic levels from the same agroecosystems.My results showed that:(i) Densoviruses are spread throughout the animal kingdom - particularly in a wide diversity of arthropods - and are highly diverse genetically, which led to a better understanding of the evolutionary history of this group of viruses;(ii) A number of new viruses can be described in pests: the spider mite (Tetranychus urticae, Acari) from laboratory populations, as well as the green pea aphid (Acyrthosiphon pisum, Hemiptera), the alfalfa weevil (Hypera postica, Coleoptera) and the cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera, Lepidoptera) from natural populations sampled from alfalfa crops and grasslands. These studies also highlighted that specific viromes are associated with each pest species, and I characterized the distribution of some of these viruses in arthropod communities. In total, more than 60 new species of arthropod and plant viruses were discovered. Their evolutionary links with known virus species was characterized by phylogenetic analyzes.(iii) The work realized in (ii) also contributed to optimize a methodology to prepare and analyze viromes from multiplexed samples, that is particularly suitable to optimize the taxonomic allocation of sequences and thus reduce the "dark matter" that is inherent to viral metagenomics analyses.
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Sarah François. Diversité et écologie des virus associés aux arthropodes : des communautés aux génomes. Sciences agricoles. Université Montpellier, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017MONTT106⟩. ⟨tel-01697877⟩

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