9th  – 11th  June, 2016

Simmons College, Harvard Campus, Boston, USA  


The presentations and discussions will take place over 5 half day sessions (Thursday, am, pm, Friday, am, pm and Saturday, am).

Meetings will start at 8.45 on the three days. On Thursday and Friday, lunch will be available between 12.30 – 1.45 and the meeting will finish by 6.00 at the latest. On Saturday, the meeting will run from 8.45 and conclude at 12.00.

A) Introduction and Overview. An outline of the aims and purpose of the meeting, focussed discussions and planned outputs

Introduction to Harvard: Max Nibert

Aims and plans for the meeting: Peter Simmonds

The process of virus classification and the role of the ICTV: Mike Adams, Andrew Davison

How are other organisms classified? How are metagenomic sequences handled elsewhere?: Peter Simmonds

B) Presentations. Identification of the problems with current classification methods, themed presentation from invited experts, 15 minutes, description of specific issues, problems and current pragmatic solutions. While the number of speakers mandates a restriction in the length of each presentations, the time spent on discussion will not be proscribed and indeed will constitute an essential part of the resolution

Vertebrate viruses / arboviruses: Eric Delwart, Bob Tesh

Environmental:Arvind Varsani, Mya Breitbart, Curtis Suttle

Plant:Marilyn Roossinck, Roger Hull

Bacteriophage: Matthew Sullivan, Mart Krupovic

Evolutionary process and methodologies: Eugene Koonin

Database Management: Rodney Brister

C) General Discussion. General discussion session with invited experts and the following EC members participating in the meeting. Identification of common and virus-group-specific classification issues and potential strategies for incorporating metagenomic sequence data into the virus classification:

  • Would a large increase in numbers of metagenomic sequences described cause impossible longer terms problems for classification?
  • Sequence quality, completeness, strategies for matching virus segments
  • Sequence-based methods for virus assignments, use of informative gene regions
  • Nomenclature of metagenomic sequences

D) Resolution and meeting outputs

  • Strategies for incorporating metagenomic sequence data into the virus
  • General discussion Identification of areas of agreement for metagenomic viral sequence classification
  • Translation into formal ICTV policy for taxon assignments and database structure
  • Planned outputs from the meeting - publication, policy statements etc.