Eric Carstens: new life member of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
Adams MJ, Davison AJ. 
We are delighted to announce that Professor Eric B Carstens has recently been elected as a Life Member of the ICTV. This follows nomination by the whole Executive Committee at its meeting in London in July 2015 and subsequent ratification by the entire voting membership. Eric is currently a Professor in the Department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, and has a particular research interest in large DNA viruses that infect insects.
Arch Virol. 2016 Sep 2. 
PMID: 27589978

Ratification vote on taxonomic proposals to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2016).
Adams MJ, Lefkowitz EJ, King AM, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Knowles NJ, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Mushegian AR, Nibert M, Sabanadzovic S, Sanfaçon H, Siddell SG, Simmonds P, Varsani A, Zerbini FM, Gorbalenya AE, Davison AJ.
This article lists the changes to virus taxonomy approved and ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in April 2016.Changes to virus taxonomy (the Universal Scheme of Virus Classification of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses [ICTV]) now take place annually and are the result of a multi-stage process. In accordance with the ICTV Statutes ( http://www.ictvonline.org/statutes.asp ), proposals submitted to the ICTV Executive Committee (EC) undergo a review process that involves input from the ICTV Study Groups (SGs) and Subcommittees (SCs), other interested virologists, and the EC. After final approval by the EC, proposals are then presented for ratification to the full ICTV membership by publication on an ICTV web site ( http://www.ictvonline.org/ ) followed by an electronic vote. The latest set of proposals approved by the EC was made available on the ICTV website by January 2016 ( https://talk.ictvonline.org/files/proposals/ ). A list of these proposals was then emailed on 28 March 2016 to the 148 members of ICTV, namely the EC Members, Life Members, ICTV Subcommittee Members (including the SG chairs) and ICTV National Representatives. Members were then requested to vote on whether to ratify the taxonomic proposals (voting closed on 29 April 2016).
Arch Virol
. 2016 Oct;161(10):2921-49. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2977-6. Epub 2016 Jul 16. Adams MJ, Lefkowitz EJ, King AM, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Knowles NJ, 
PMID: 27424026

Taxonomy of prokaryotic virusesupdate from the ICTV bacterial andarchaeal viruses subcommittee.
Krupovic M, Dutilh BE, Adriaenssens EM, Wittmann J, Vogensen FK, Sullivan MB, Rumnieks J, Prangishvili D, Lavigne R, Kropinski AM, Klumpp J, Gillis A, Enault F, Edwards RA, Duffy S, Clokie MR, Barylski J, Ackermann HW, Kuhn JH.
The prokaryotic virus community is represented on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) by the Bacterial and Archaeal Viruses Subcommittee. In 2008, the three caudoviral families Myoviridae, Podoviridae, and Siphoviridae included only 18 genera and 36 species. Under the able chairmanship of Rob Lavigne (KU Leuven, Belgium), major advances were made in the classification of prokaryotic viruses and the order Caudovirales was expanded dramatically, to reflect the genome-based relationships between phages. Today, the order includes six subfamilies, 80 genera, and 441 species. This year, additional changes in prokaryotic virus taxonomy have been brought forward under the new subcommittee chair, Andrew M. Kropinski (University of Guelph, Canada).
Arch Virol. 2016 Apr;161(4):1095-9. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2728-0. Epub 2016 Jan 5.
PMID: 26733293

The taxonomy of viruses should include viruses.
Calisher CH
Arch Virol.
 2016 May;161(5):1419-22. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2779-x. Epub 2016 Feb 25.
Having lost sight of its goal, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses has redoubled its efforts. That goal is to arrive at a consensus regarding virus classification, i.e., proper placement of viruses in a hierarchical taxonomic scheme; not an easy task given the wide variety of recognized viruses. Rather than suggesting a continuation of the bureaucratic machinations of the past, this opinion piece is a call for insertion of common sense in sorting out the avalanche of information already, and soon-to-be, accrued data. In this way information about viruses ideally would be taxonomically correct as well as useful to working virologists and journal editors, rather than being lost, minimized, or ignored.
PMID: 26914357

taxonomy update for the family Polyomaviridae.
Polyomaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, Calvignac-Spencer S, Feltkamp MC, Daugherty MD, Moens U, Ramqvist T, Johne R, Ehlers B.
Arch. Virol. 2016 Jun;161(6):1739-50. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2794-y. Epub 2016 Feb 29.
Many distinct polyomaviruses infecting a variety of vertebrate hosts have recently been discovered, and their complete genome sequence could often be determined. To accommodate this fast-growing diversity, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) Polyomaviridae Study Group designed a host- and sequence-based rationale for an updated taxonomy of the family Polyomaviridae. Applying this resulted in numerous recommendations of taxonomical revisions, which were accepted by the Executive Committee of the ICTV in December 2015. New criteria for definition and creation of polyomavirus species were established that were based on the observed distance between large T antigen coding sequences. Four genera (Alpha-, Beta, Gamma- and Deltapolyomavirus) were delineated that together include 73 species. Species naming was made as systematic as possible - most species names now consist of the binomial name of the host species followed by polyomavirus and a number reflecting the order of discovery. It is hoped that this important update of the family taxonomy will serve as a stable basis for future taxonomical developments.
PMID: 26923930

proposal to rationalize within-species plant virus nomenclature:benefits and implications of inaction.
Jones RA, Kehoe MA.
Arch Virol. 2016 Jul;161(7):2051-7. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2848-1. Epub 2016 Apr 21.
Current approaches used to name within-speciesplant virus phylogenetic groups are often misleading and illogical. They involve names based on biological properties, sequence differences and geographical, country or place-association designations, or any combination of these. This type of nomenclature is becoming increasingly unsustainable as numbers of sequences of the same virus from new host species and different parts of the world increase. Moreover, this increase is accelerating as world trade and agriculture expand, and climate change progresses. Serious consequences for virus research and disease management might arise from incorrect assumptions made when current within-species phylogenetic group names incorrectly identify properties of group members. This could result in development of molecular tools that incorrectly target dangerous virus strains, potentially leading to unjustified impediments to international trade or failure to prevent such strains being introduced to countries, regions or continents formerly free of them. Dangerous strains might be missed or misdiagnosed by diagnostic laboratories and monitoring programs, and new cultivars with incorrect strain-specific resistances released. Incorrect deductions are possible during phylogenetic analysis of plant virus sequences and errors from strain misidentification during molecular and biological virus research activities. A nomenclature system for within-species plant virus phylogenetic group names is needed which avoids such problems. We suggest replacing all other naming approaches with Latinized numerals, restricting biologically based names only to biological strains and removing geographically based names altogether. Our recommendations have implications for biosecurity authorities, diagnostic laboratories, disease-management programs, plant breeders and researchers.
PMID: 27101071 

Taxonomy of the order Mononegaviralesupdate 2016.
Arch Virol. 2016 Aug;161(8):2351-60. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2880-1. Epub 2016 May 23.
Afonso CL, Amarasinghe GK, Bányai K, Bào Y, Basler CF, Bavari S, Bejerman N,, Blasdell KR, Briand FX, Briese T, Bukreyev A, Calisher CH, Chandran K, Chéng J, Clawson AN, Collins PL, Dietzgen RG, Dolnik O, Domier LL, Dürrwald R, Dye JM, Easton AJ, Ebihara H, Farkas SL, Freitas-Astúa J, Formenty P, Fouchier RA, Fù Y, Ghedin E, Goodin MM, Hewson R, Horie M, Hyndman TH, Jiāng D, Kitajima EW, Kobinger GP, Kondo H, Kurath G, Lamb RA,, Lenardon S, Leroy EM, Li CX, Lin XD, Liú L, Longdon B, Marton S, Maisner A, Mühlberger E, Netesov SV, Nowotny N,, Patterson JL, Payne SL, Paweska JT, Randall RE, Rima BK, Rota P, Rubbenstroth D, Schwemmle M, Shi M, Smither SJ, Stenglein MD, Stone DM, Takada A, Terregino C, Tesh RB, Tian JH, Tomonaga K, Tordo N,, Towner JS, Vasilakis N,, Verbeek M, Volchkov VE, Wahl-Jensen V, Walsh JA, Walker PJ, Wang D, Wang LF,, Wetzel T, Whitfield AE, Xiè JT, Yuen KY, Zhang YZ, Kuhn JH.
In 2016, the order Mononegavirales was emended through the addition of two new families (Mymonaviridae and Sunviridae), the elevation of the paramyxoviral subfamily Pneumovirinae to family status (Pneumoviridae), the addition of five free-floating genera (Anphevirus, Arlivirus, Chengtivirus, Crustavirus, and Wastrivirus), and several other changes at the genus and species levels. This article presents the updated taxonomy of the order Mononegavirales as now accepted by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV).
PMID: 27216929
PMCID: PMC4947412

Genomoviridae: a new family of widespread single-stranded DNAviruses.
Arch Virol. 2016 Sep;161(9):2633-43. doi: 10.1007/s00705-016-2943-3. Epub 2016 Jun 24.
Krupovic M, Ghabrial SA, Jiang D, Varsani A
Here, we introduce a new family of eukaryote-infecting single-stranded (ss) DNA viruses that was created recently by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses(ICTV). The family, named Genomoviridae, contains a single genus, Gemycircularvirus, which currently has one recognized virus species, Sclerotinia gemycircularvirus 1. Sclerotinia sclerotiorum hypovirulence-associated DNA virus 1 (SsHADV-1) is currently the sole representative isolate of the family; however, a great number of SsHADV-1-like ssDNA virus genomes has been sequenced from various environmental, plant- and animal-associated samples, indicating that members of family Genomoviridae are widespread and abundant in the environment.
PMID: 27343045

Ratification vote on taxonomic proposals to the InternationalCommittee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2016).
Arch Virol. 2016 Jul 16. [Epub ahead of print]
Adams MJ, Lefkowitz EJ, King AM, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Knowles NJ, Kropinski AM, Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Mushegian AR, Nibert M, Sabanadzovic S, Sanfaçon H, Siddell SG, Simmonds P, Varsani A, Zerbini FM, Gorbalenya AE, Davison AJ.
This article lists the changes to virus taxonomy approved and ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in April 2016.Changes to virus taxonomy (the Universal Scheme of Virus Classification of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses [ICTV]) now take place annually and are the result of a multi-stage process. In accordance with the ICTV Statutes ( http://www.ictvonline.org/statutes.asp ), proposals submitted to the ICTV Executive Committee (EC) undergo a review process that involves input from the ICTV Study Groups (SGs) and Subcommittees (SCs), other interested virologists, and the EC. After final approval by the EC,proposals are then presented for ratification to the full ICTV membership by publication on an ICTV web site ( http://www.ictvonline.org/ ) followed by an electronic vote. The latest set of proposals approved by the EC was made available on the ICTV website by January 2016 ( https://talk.ictvonline.org/files/proposals/ ). A list of theseproposals was then emailed on 28 March 2016 to the 148 members of ICTV, namely the EC Members, Life Members, ICTV Subcommittee Members (including the SG chairs) and ICTV National Representatives. Members were then requested to vote on whether to ratify the taxonomic proposals (voting closed on 29 April 2016).
PMID: 27424026

Obituary Craig R. Pringle (1930-2015).
Easton AJ.
Arch Virol. 2016 Mar;161(3):769-770. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2725-3. PMID: 26695769 

Reorganization and expansion of the nidoviral family Arteriviridae.
Kuhn JH, Lauck M, Bailey AL, Shchetinin AM, Vishnevskaya TV, Bào Y, Ng TF, LeBreton M, Schneider BS, Gillis A, Tamoufe U, Diffo JL, Takuo JM, Kondov NO, Coffey LL, Wolfe ND, Delwart E, Clawson AN, Postnikova E, Bollinger L, Lackemeyer MG, Radoshitzky SR, Palacios G, Wada J, Shevtsova ZV, Jahrling PB, Lapin BA, Deriabin PG, Dunowska M, Alkhovsky SV, Rogers J, Friedrich TC, O'Connor DH, Goldberg TL.
The family Arteriviridae presently includes a single genus Arterivirus. This genus includes four species as the taxonomic homes for equine arteritis virus (EAV), lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV), porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV), and simian hemorrhagic fever virus (SHFV), respectively. A revision of this classification is urgently needed to accommodate the recent description of eleven highly divergent simian arteriviruses in diverse African nonhuman primates, one novel arterivirus in an African forest giant pouched rat, and a novel arterivirus in common brushtails in New Zealand. In addition, the current arterivirus nomenclature is not in accordance with the most recent version of the International Code of Virus Classification and Nomenclature. Here we outline an updated, amended, and improved arterivirus taxonomy based on current data. Taxon-specific sequence cut-offs are established relying on a newly established open reading frame 1b phylogeny and pairwise sequence comparison (PASC) of coding-complete arterivirus genomes. As a result, the current genus Arterivirus is replaced by five genera: Equartevirus (for EAV), Rodartevirus (LDV + PRRSV), Simartevirus (SHFV + simian arteriviruses), Nesartevirus (for the arterivirus from forest giant pouched rats), and Dipartevirus (common brushtail arterivirus). The current species Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus is divided into two species to accommodate the clear divergence of the European and American "types" of PRRSV, both of which now receive virus status. The current species Simian hemorrhagic fever virus is divided into nine species to accommodate the twelve known simian arteriviruses. Non-Latinized binomial species names are introduced to replace all current species names to clearly differentiate them from virus names, which remain largely unchanged.
Arch Virol. 2016 Mar; 161(3): 755-768. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2672-z. Epub 2015 Nov 25. PMID: 26608064

Pietilä MK, Roine E, Sencilo A, Bamford DH, Oksanen HM.
Viruses infecting archaea show a variety of virion morphotypes, and they are currently classified into more than ten viral families or corresponding groups. A pleomorphic virus morphotype is very common among haloarchaeal viruses, and to date, several such viruses have been isolated. Here, we propose the classification of eight such viruses and formation of a new family, Pleolipoviridae (from the Greek pleo for more or many and lipos for lipid), containing three genera, Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammapleolipovirus. The proposal is currently under review by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The members of the proposed family Pleolipoviridae infect halophilic archaea and are nonlytic. They share structural and genomic features and differ from any other classified virus. The virion of pleolipoviruses is composed of a pleomorphic membrane vesicle enclosing the genome. All pleolipoviruses have two major structural protein species, internal membrane and spike proteins. Although the genomes of the pleolipoviruses are single- or double-stranded, linear or circular DNA molecules, they share the same genome organization and gene synteny and show significant similarity at the amino acid level. The canonical features common to all members of the proposed family Pleolipoviridae show that they are closely related and thus form a new viral family.
Arch Virol. 2016 Jan;161(1):249-56. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2613-x. Epub 2015 Oct 12. PMID: 26459284
Krupovic M, Kuhn JH, Fischer MG.
Satellite viruses encode structural proteins required for the formation of infectious particles but depend on helper viruses for completing their replication cycles. Because of this unique property, satellite viruses that infect plants, arthropods, or mammals, as well as the more recently discovered satellite-like viruses that infect protists (virophages), have been grouped with other, so-called "sub-viral agents." For the most part, satellite viruses are therefore not classified. We argue that possession of a coat-protein-encoding gene and the ability to form virions are the defining features of a bona fide virus. Accordingly, all satellite viruses and virophages should be consistently classified within appropriate taxa. We propose to create four new genera - Albetovirus, Aumaivirus, Papanivirus, and Virtovirus - for positive-sense single-stranded (+) RNA satellite viruses that infect plants and the family Sarthroviridae, including the genus Macronovirus, for (+)RNA satellite viruses that infect arthopods. For double-stranded DNA virophages, we propose to establish the family Lavidaviridae, including two genera, Sputnikvirus and Mavirus.
Arch Virol. 2016 Jan;161(1):233-47. doi: 10.1007/s00705-015-2622-9. Epub 2015 Oct 7. PMID: 26446887