Metagenomic analysis of whole mosquitoes allows the genetic characterization of all associated viruses, including arboviruses and insect-specific viruses, plus those in their diet or infecting their parasites. We describe here the virome in mosquitoes, primarily Culex pipiens complex, Cx. tarsalis and Cx. erythrothorax, collected in 2016 from 31 counties in California, USA. The nearly complete genomes of 56 viruses, including 32 novel genomes, some from potentially novel RNA and DNA viral families or genera, were assembled and phylogenetically analyzed, significantly expanding the known Culex-associated virome. The majority of detected viral sequences originated from single-stranded RNA viral families with members known to infect insects, plants, or from unknown hosts. These reference viral genomes will facilitate the identification of related viruses in other insect species and to monitor changes in the virome of Culex mosquito populations to define factors influencing their transmission and possible impact on their insect hosts.
- Bunyaviridae, Rhabdoviridae
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