Chromosomal resolution reveals symbiotic virus colonization of parasitic wasp genomes

Gauthier, J.; Boulain, H.; Vugt, J.F.A. van; Baudry, L.; Persyn, E.; Aury, J.M.; Noel, B.; Bretaudeau, A.; Legeai, Fabrice; Warris, S.; Amine Chebbi, M.; Dubreuil, Géraldine; Duvic, Bernard; Kremer, Natacha; Gayral, P.; Musset, K.; Thibaut, J.; Bigot, D.; Bressac, C.; Moreau, S.; Periquet, G.; Harry, M.; Montagné, N.; Boulogne, I.; Sabeti-Azad, M.; Maïbèche, M.; Chertemps, T.; Hilliou, F.; Siaussat, D.; Amselem, J.; Luyten, I.; Capdevielle-Dulac, C.; Labadie, Karine; Laís Merlin, B.; Barbe, Valérie; Boer, J.G. de; Marbouty, M.; Cônsoli, F.L.; Dupas, S.; Hua Van, A.; Goff, G. Le; Bézier, Annie; Jacquin-Joly, E.; Whitfield, James B.; Vet, L.E.M.; Smid, H.M.; Kaiser-Arnault, L.; Koszul, R.; Huguet, Elisabeth; Herniou, Elisabeth A.; Drezen, J.M.


Most endogenous viruses, an important proportion of eukaryote genomes, are doomed to slowly decay. Little is known, however, on how they evolve when they confer a benefit to their host. Bracoviruses are essential for the parasitism success of parasitoid wasps, whose genomes they integrated ~103 million years ago. Here we show, from the assembly of a parasitoid wasp genome, for the first time at a chromosomal scale, that symbiotic bracovirus genes spread to and colonized all the chromosomes. Moreover, large viral clusters are stably maintained suggesting strong evolutionary constraints. Genomic comparison with another wasps revealed that this organization was already established ~53 mya. Transcriptomic analyses highlight temporal synchronization of viral gene expression, leading to particle production. Immune genes are not induced, however, indicating the virus is not perceived as foreign by the wasp. This recognition suggests that no conflicts remain between symbiotic partners when benefits to them converge.