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The Curious Strategy of Multipartite Viruses

Abstract : Multipartite virus genomes are composed of several segments, each packaged in a distinct viral particle. Although this puzzling genome architecture is found in ∼17% of known viral species, its distribution among hosts or among distinct types of genome-composing nucleic acid remains poorly understood. No convincing advantage of multipartitism has been identified, yet the maintenance of genomic integrity appears problematic. Here we review recent studies shedding light on these issues. Multipartite viruses rapidly modify the copy number of each segment/gene from one host species to another, a putative benefit if host switches are common. One multipartite virus functions in a multicellular way: The segments do not all need to be present in the same cell and can functionally complement across cells, maintaining genome integrity within hosts. The genomic integrity maintenance during host-to-host transmission needs further elucidation. These features challenge several virology foundations and could apply to other multicomponent viral systems.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02981664
Contributor : Montpellier Erist <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 10:10:52 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 10:18:02 AM

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Yannis Michalakis, Stéphane Blanc. The Curious Strategy of Multipartite Viruses. Annual Review of Virology, Annual Review, 2020, 7 (1), pp.203-218. ⟨10.1146/annurev-virology-010220-063346⟩. ⟨hal-02981664⟩

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