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Virology. 2010 Jul 5;402(2):347-54. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.03.046. Epub 2010 Apr 28.

Diversity of viruses of the hyperthermophilic archaeal genus Aeropyrum, and isolation of the Aeropyrum pernix bacilliform virus 1, APBV1, the first representative of the family Clavaviridae.

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Institute Pasteur, Molecular Biology of the Gene in Extremophiles Unit, Department of Microbiology, F-75015 Paris, France.


We have surveyed the morphological diversity of viruses infecting the archaeon Aeropyrum pernix, the most thermophilic species among aerobic organisms, growing optimally at 90 degrees C, and isolated and characterized a novel virus, Aeropyrum pernix bacilliform virus 1, APBV1. This is the first virus to be described of the genus Aeropyrum and the archaeal order Desulfurococcales. The virion of APBV1 has rigid bacilliform morphology, about 140x20nm, with one end pointed and the other rounded. It contains highly glycosylated single major protein and three minor proteins. The circular, double-stranded DNA genome comprising 5278bp is the smallest for known archaeal viruses. None of the 14 putative genes, all on the same DNA strand, shows significant similarity to sequences in the public databases. The APBV1 infection caused neither retardation of host growth nor lysis of host cells, and integration of the viral genome into the host chromosome was not detected. On the basis of unusual morphological and genomic properties, we propose to consider APBV1 as the first representative of a new viral family, the Clavaviridae.

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