viruses, evolution, and net traffic

Curtis Suttle suttle at eos.ubc.ca
Mon Oct 13 18:06:39 EST 1997


The large dsDNA viruses Phycodnaviridae) that infect unicellular algae are
unusual in a number of respects, including the fact that they have genes
which are only found in eukaryotes, as well as prokaryotes. Entry into host
cells appears to be phage-like; that is they attach to the outside of the
host and inject the viral DNA. My guess is that the Phycodnaviridae will
turn out to be a group of viruses which infect a wide range of protists.

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Warren Lushia wrote in message <61tm9d$ejd at net.bio.net>...
>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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