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Annu Rev Microbiol. 1997;51:225-55.

Genetics of the rotaviruses.

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Division of Molecular Virology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Genetic analyses have contributed significantly to our understanding of the biology of the rotaviruses. The distinguishing feature of the virus is a genome consisting of 11 segments of double-stranded RNA. The segmented nature of the genome allows reassortment of genome segments during mixed infections, which is the major distinguishing feature of rotavirus genetics. Reassortment has been a powerful tool for mapping viral mutations and other determinants of biological phenotypes to specific genome segments. However, more detailed genetic analysis of rotaviruses is currently limited by the inability to perform reverse genetics. Development of a reverse genetic system will facilitate analysis of the molecular mechanisms involved in various genetic, biochemical, and biological phenomena of the virus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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