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Science. 2013 Jul 19;341(6143):281-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1239181.

Pandoraviruses: amoeba viruses with genomes up to 2.5 Mb reaching that of parasitic eukaryotes.

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1
Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory, UMR 7256 CNRS Aix-Marseille Université, 163 Avenue de Luminy, Case 934, 13288 Marseille cedex 9, France.

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  • Science. 2013 Sep 27;341(6153):1452.

Abstract

Ten years ago, the discovery of Mimivirus, a virus infecting Acanthamoeba, initiated a reappraisal of the upper limits of the viral world, both in terms of particle size (>0.7 micrometers) and genome complexity (>1000 genes), dimensions typical of parasitic bacteria. The diversity of these giant viruses (the Megaviridae) was assessed by sampling a variety of aquatic environments and their associated sediments worldwide. We report the isolation of two giant viruses, one off the coast of central Chile, the other from a freshwater pond near Melbourne (Australia), without morphological or genomic resemblance to any previously defined virus families. Their micrometer-sized ovoid particles contain DNA genomes of at least 2.5 and 1.9 megabases, respectively. These viruses are the first members of the proposed "Pandoravirus" genus, a term reflecting their lack of similarity with previously described microorganisms and the surprises expected from their future study.

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PMID:
23869018
DOI:
10.1126/science.1239181
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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