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Trends Microbiol. 2014 Jun;22(6):334-44. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2014.02.007. Epub 2014 Mar 16.

Archaeal viruses and bacteriophages: comparisons and contrasts.

Author information

1
Institute of Biotechnology and Department of Biosciences, P.O. Box 56, Viikinkaari 5, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
2
Institute of Biotechnology and Department of Biosciences, P.O. Box 56, Viikinkaari 5, 00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address: dennis.bamford@helsinki.fi.

Abstract

Isolated archaeal viruses comprise only a few percent of all known prokaryotic viruses. Thus, the study of viruses infecting archaea is still in its early stages. Here we summarize the most recent discoveries of archaeal viruses utilizing a virion-centered view. We describe the known archaeal virion morphotypes and compare them to the bacterial counterparts, if such exist. Viruses infecting archaea are morphologically diverse and present some unique morphotypes. Although limited in isolate number, archaeal viruses reveal new insights into the viral world, such as deep evolutionary relationships between viruses that infect hosts from all three domains of life.

KEYWORDS:

Archaea; bacteria; morphotype; virion; virus

PMID:
24647075
DOI:
10.1016/j.tim.2014.02.007
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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