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BMC Microbiol. 2006 Mar 6;6:24.

The Subviral RNA Database: a toolbox for viroids, the hepatitis delta virus and satellite RNAs research.

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Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5, Canada.



Viroids, satellite RNAs, satellites viruses and the human hepatitis delta virus form the 'brotherhood' of the smallest known infectious RNA agents, known as the subviral RNAs. For most of these species, it is generally accepted that characteristics such as cell movement, replication, host specificity and pathogenicity are encoded in their RNA sequences and their resulting RNA structures. Although many sequences are indexed in publicly available databases, these sequence annotation databases do not provide the advanced searches and data manipulation capability for identifying and characterizing subviral RNA motifs.


The Subviral RNA database is a web-based environment that facilitates the research and analysis of viroids, satellite RNAs, satellites viruses, the human hepatitis delta virus, and related RNA sequences. It integrates a large number of Subviral RNA sequences, their respective RNA motifs, analysis tools, related publication links and additional pertinent information (ex. links, conferences, announcements), allowing users to efficiently retrieve and analyze relevant information about these small RNA agents.


With its design, the Subviral RNA Database could be considered as a fundamental building block for the study of these related RNAs. It is freely available via a web browser at the URL:

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