Biology as Poetry: Virology

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Virus Genomes

Depending on type, can be closed circular, linear, segmented or consist of single-stranded or double-stranded DNA or RNA.

The genomes of viruses display far more structural diversity than the genomes of cellular organisms, which instead are all double stranded and all DNA. Though bacterial chromosomes tend to be closed circular, while genomes of eukaryotes tend to be segmented (i.e., broken up into more than one chromosome), generally virus genomes are both linear and not segmented.

See also dsDNA, ssDNA, dsRNA, ssRNA, monopartite, bipartite, tripartite, and circular permutation.

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