Towards an integrative view of virus phenotypes

John P. DeLong, Maitham A. Al-Sammak, Zeina T. Al-Ameeli, David D. Dunigan, Kyle F. Edwards, Jeffry J. Fuhrmann, Jason P. Gleghorn, Hanqun Li, Kona Haramoto, Amelia O. Harrison, Marcia F. Marston, Ryan M. Moore, Shawn W. Polson, Barbra D. Ferrell, Miranda E. Salsbery, Christopher R. Schvarcz, Jasmine Shirazi, Grieg F. Steward, James L. Van Etten, K. Eric Wommack

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Understanding how phenotypes emerge from genotypes is a foundational goal in biology. As challenging as this task is when considering cellular life, it is further complicated in the case of viruses. During replication, a virus as a discrete entity (the virion) disappears and manifests itself as a metabolic amalgam between the virus and the host (the virocell). Identifying traits that unambiguously constitute a virus’s phenotype is straightforward for the virion, less so for the virocell. Here, we present a framework for categorizing virus phenotypes that encompasses both virion and virocell stages and considers functional and performance traits of viruses in the context of fitness. Such an integrated view of virus phenotype is necessary for comprehensive interpretation of viral genome sequences and will advance our understanding of viral evolution and ecology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalNature Reviews Microbiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Infectious Diseases


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