Reverse transcriptase

Rod Pennington OKIEROD at
Thu May 25 06:23:15 EST 1995

>.............. The retroelements are considered old, defective viral
>units, in any case.  They would then not be part of the original bacterial
>genome, but riders that came along later and now, with the loss of ability
>(or need) to encode capsid and bud (or lyse) the cell, can now be
>considered a permanent fixture within the bacterial genome...hence, they
>have become natural parts of the bacterial genome.
I thought at least some retrotransposons *did* encode a capsid-like
protein.  TY elements in yeast, for example.  These form encapsidated
virus-like particals that, under EM, look like virions (this is from
memory so I hope I'm not off base!).  I thought that where TY elements
come up short of being a full-fledged retrovirus was in lacking an
env gene or function, not in lacking a capsid protein.
Rod Pennington
Plant Pathology
University of Kentucky (for 12 more days)
>Patrick at

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