Chloroviruses: Not your everyday plant virus

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Viruses infecting higher plants are among the smallest viruses known and typically have four to ten protein-encoding genes. By contrast, many viruses that infect algae (classified in the virus family Phycodnaviridae) are among the largest viruses found to date and have up to 600 protein-encoding genes. This brief review focuses on one group of plaque-forming phycodnaviruses that infect unicellular chlorella-like green algae. The prototype chlorovirus PBCV-1 has more than 400 protein-encoding genes and 11 tRNA genes. About 40% of the PBCV-1 encoded proteins resemble proteins of known function including many that are completely unexpected for a virus. In many respects, chlorovirus infection resembles bacterial infection by tailed bacteriophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Plant Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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