Family: Phasmaviridae

Genus: Sawastrivirus


Distinguishing features

Sānxiá water strider virus 2 (SxWSV2) is the only classified sawastrivirus. SxWSV2 is associated with hemipteran insects (Li et al., 2015).


Virions are unknown.

Nucleic acid

Sawastriviruses have tri-segmented negative-sense RNA genomes of about 13 kb (small [S] segment: 1.6 kb; medium [M] segment: 4.2 kb; large [L] segment, 7.2 kb) (Li et al., 2015).


Based on sequence data only, sawastriviruses likely express three structural proteins: nucleoprotein (N), glycoprotein precursor (GPC), and large protein (L) (Li et al., 2015).

Genome organization and replication

The S segment encodes N, the M segment encodes GPC, and the L segment encodes L protein (Li et al., 2015) (Figure 1 Sawastrivirus). Sawastrivirus genomic segments are expected, by analogy with other bunyaviricetes, to assume circular ribonucleoprotein complexes within the virion via non-covalent binding of complementary and conserved 3′- and 5′-terminal sequences.

Sawastrivirus genome
Figure 1 Sawastrivirus. Schematic representation of sawastrivirus genome organization. L: gene encoding L protein; GPC, gene encoding GPC; N: gene encoding N protein.


Sawastriviruses are associated with unspecified water striders (Gerridae) in China (Li et al., 2015). Replication-competent sawastrivirus isolates have not yet been obtained, and hence sawastrivirus biology remains to be elucidated.

Species demarcation criteria

Not applicable as the genus includes only a single species.