Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Apr;7(4):306-11. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2108. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Ten reasons to exclude viruses from the tree of life.

Author information

  • 1Unité d'Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, UMR CNRS 8,079, Université Paris-Sud, bâtiment 360, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France. david.moreira@u-psud.fr

Abstract

When viruses were discovered, they were accepted as missing links between the inert world and living organisms. However, this idea was soon abandoned as information about their molecular parasitic nature accumulated. Recently, the notion that viruses are living organisms that have had a role in the evolution of some essential features of cells has experienced a renaissance owing to the discovery of unusually large and complex viruses that possess typical cellular genes. Here, we contend that there is strong evidence against the notion that viruses are alive and represent ancient lineages of the tree of life.

Comment in

PMID:
19270719
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk