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Encyclopedia of Virology
Volume 4, 2021, Pages 380-386

Vesicle-Like Archaeal Viruses

Elina Roine, NinaS Atanasova

University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Archaeal viruses was long an unexplored territory of virology with comparably few reports. Recent efforts in the field, however, have increased the number of reports on new virus types exponentially. Here we summarize the information related to vesicle-like viruses infecting archaea. These we define as viruses with a membrane envelope that do not contain a nucleoprotein core. To date, only one viral family, the Pleolipoviridae, can be included into this definition. The virion of the family Pleolipoviridae members, Haloarchaeal Pleomorphic Viruses (HRPVs), consists of a membrane envelope encasing a naked DNA genome. The simple vesicle-like appearance resembles the newly reported haloarchaeal plasmid-DNA carrying vesicles bringing us to the boundaries where the definitions for viruses on one hand, and plasmid-carrying vesicles on the other, meet.

Keywords: Archaea, Glycosylation, Haloarchaea, Hypersaline, Infection, Membrane fusion protein, Membrane vesicle, Pleolipoviridae, Pleolipovirus, Provirus, S-layer, Virus.

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