viruses, evolution, and net traffic

Warren Lushia walush0 at ukcc.uky.edu
Mon Oct 13 12:37:49 EST 1997


Ed Rybicki wrote:

>Why do algae have such big dsDNA viruses, while
> land plants do not?  A case of the one that stayed behind developing
> a new kind of virus?  Viral "founder effects"?

A big dsDNA virus likely would have a difficult time moving in, through, 
and out the vascular tissue of higher plants; such restrictions may not   
be applicable to algae.  In other words, I believe part of the reason     
for higher plants viruses, in general, having relatively small genomes 
is due to the vastly different method of colonization of the host 
compared to, for example, mammalian viruses.  

Warren Lushia
University of Kentucky






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