Recognizing species as a new focus of virus research
In this short opinion article published in PLOS Pathogens, Alexander Gorbalenya and Stuart Siddell propose that species taxa, the principal unit of taxonomy, should be a first choice for communicating virus taxonomy in publications concerning viruses. This, they argue, would represent a significant step forward in the effort to define a position for the virus entity in the natural world, and it would help to promote research on diverse viruses, including pathogens, at this fundamental level of biology.
The 2020 ICTV Newsletter has been released. The Newsletter can be downloaded here.
What’s the point of virus taxonomy?
For previous news announcements, please see https://talk.ictvonline.org/information/w/news
This new release contains taxonomic changes approved by the ICTV membership in March, 2020. A paper describing this release is available from the Virology Division News section of Archives of Virology: Walker PJ, Siddell SG, Lefkowitz EJ, Mushegian AR, Adriaenssens EM, Dempsey DM, Dutilh BE, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Hendrickson RC, Junglen S, Knowles NJ, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Nibert M, Orton RJ, Rubino L, Sabanadzovic S, Simmonds P, Smith DB, Varsani A, Zerbini FM, Davison AJ. Changes to virus taxonomy and the Statutes ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2020). Arch Virol. 2020 Nov;165(11):2737-2748. PMID: 32816125.
Official taxonomy proposals documenting all of the taxonomic changes approved by the ICTV since the publication of the ICTV 8th Report can be found at https://ictv.global/Official_ICTV_Proposals.htm.
The Virus Metadata Resource
The Virus Metadata Resource (VMR) is a downloadable spreadsheet that provides information on exemplar viruses for each species. This information includes GenBank and RefSeq accession numbers for exemplar viruses and isolate and common names for viruses belonging to a species. The most recent VMR release adds information on the known categories of hosts infected by the virus or the source environment from which the virus was isolated. New VMR Release, August, 2020
The ICTV Report on Virus Taxonomy (also known as the 10th Report) is available in an open access format from this web site at https://ictv.global/report. ICTV Study Groups are updating the information from 9th Report chapters; producing chapters for newly created virus taxa; and updating current chapters as new taxa are created and new viruses discovered.
Summaries of the Online Report chapters are published in the Journal of General Virology, ICTV Virus Taxonomy Profiles section. These summaries are linked to the full Online Report chapters on the ICTV website and are indexed in PubMed.
A document and FAQ detailing the ICTV's recommendation for how to write virus and species names is now available. (Updated May 28, 2019)
Why virus taxonomy is important
The article, "Why virus taxonomy is important", published in Microbiology Today by Stuart Siddell, ICTV Vice President, discusses the importance of virus taxonomy and its role in helping to define the evolutionary relationships between viruses and understand the consequences of virus diversity.
ICTV in Nucleic Acids Research
An article appearing in the Nucleic Acids Research 2018 Database issue, "Virus taxonomy: the database of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV)" describes the ICTV database and the web-based tools available to query that database: Lefkowitz EJ, Dempsey DM, Hendrickson RC, Orton RJ, Siddell SG, Smith DB. Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Oct 13. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx932. PubMed PMID: 29040670.
ICTV welcomes taxonomic proposals from any interested individual. To submit a proposal, download and complete the relevant parts of the proposal template and e-mail it to the appropriate subcommittee chair (Animal DNA Viruses and Retroviruses, Animal dsRNA and ssRNA- Viruses, Animal ssRNA+ Viruses, Archaeal Viruses, Bacterial Viruses, Fungal and Protist Viruses, or Plant viruses).
ICTV gratefully acknowledges financial support from the American Society for Virology, Microbiology Society, the Virology Division of IUMS, and Wellcome. ICTV also very gratefully acknowledges the support it receives from all its Executive Committee members, Study Group members and National Representatives who volunteer a huge amount of their time and financial support to ensure that ICTV continues to function for the good of virology. We would also like to thank Donald Dempsey and Curtis Hendrickson from the University of Alabama at Birmingham for their work on the development of the web site and taxonomy database.