The porcine deltacoronavirus replication organelle comprises double-membrane vesicles and zippered endoplasmic reticulum with double-membrane spherules

Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) was first identified in Hong Kong in 2012 from samples taken from pigs in 2009. PDCoV was subsequently identified in the USA in 2014 in pigs with a history of severe diarrhea. The virus has now been detected in pigs in several countries around the world. Following the development of tissue culture adapted strains of PDCoV, it is now possible to address questions regarding virus-host cell interactions for this genera of coronavirus. Here, we presented a detailed study of PDCoV-induced replication organelles. All positive-strand RNA viruses induce the rearrangement of cellular membranes during virus replication to support viral RNA synthesis, forming the replication organelle. Replication organelles for the Alpha-, Beta-, and Gammacoronavirus genera have been characterized. All coronavirus genera induced the formation of double-membrane vesicles (DMVs). In addition, Alpha- and Betacoronaviruses induce the formation of convoluted membranes, while Gammacoronaviruses induce the formation of zippered endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with tethered double-membrane spherules. However, the structures induced by Deltacoronaviruses, particularly the presence of convoluted membranes or double-membrane spherules, are unknown. Initially, the dynamics of PDCoV strain OH-FD22 replication were assessed with the onset of viral RNA synthesis, protein synthesis, and progeny particle release determined. Subsequently, virus-induced membrane rearrangements were identified in infected cells by electron microscopy. As has been observed for all other coronaviruses studied to date, PDCoV replication was found to induce the formation of double-membrane vesicles. Significantly, however, PDCoV replication was also found to induce the formation of regions of zippered endoplasmic reticulum, small associated tethered vesicles, and double-membrane spherules. These structures strongly resemble the replication organelle induced by avian Gammacoronavirus infectious bronchitis virus.

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