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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science