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Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Oct;3(5):595-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.07.003. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Route of NCLDV evolution: the genomic accordion.

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Laboratoire Evolution, Génomes et Spéciation, CNRS UPR 9034, Université Paris-Sud, Avenue de la Terrasse 91198 Gif sur Yvette cedex, France. Electronic address:


Nucleo cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) superfamily forms a diverse group of viruses that infects a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (e.g. vertebrates, insects, protests, etc.). These viruses are characterized by a huge range in genome size (between 100kb and 1.2Mb), coupled with an extraordinary diverse genomic repertoire. Here I will review some recent results that shed light on the origin and genome evolution of these viruses, introducing the idea that these viruses evolved using a complex process of genomic accordion that imply successive steps of genome expansions (duplication and gene transfers) and genome reduction, in addition to movement and amplification of diverse mobile genetic elements.

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