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Featured Patchwork viruses in animals

  1. Aug 30, 2016 #1


    Staff: Mentor

    Scientists found a virus that is made out of 4 to 5 separate components - it infects mosquitos, and they have to catch at least four of those components to get infected, the smallest, fifth component is optional.

    For plants and fungi, similar viruses were known before, but (at least according to the study) this is the first example in animals studied in detail. I have never heard of those things before and I thought it would be interesting to share that.

    Original publication
    News report
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2016 #2
    Amazing how nature surprises us!
  4. Aug 31, 2016 #3


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    2018 Award

    I'm guessing these virus constructs are assembled randomly from co-infections of a single cell.
    Perhaps step-wise if multiple parts are involved.

    I'm now thinking that a mixing of genomes is pretty common in evolution.

    This is from wikipedia about the E. Coli genome (wikipedia/E.coli):

    Each individual genome contains between 4,000 and 5,500 genes, but the total number of different genes among all of the sequenced E. coli strains (the pangenome) exceeds 16,000. This very large variety of component genes has been interpreted to mean that two-thirds of the E. coli pangenome originated in other species and arrived through the process of horizontal gene transfer.[51]

    Genome mixing has also seen among some fish species:

    and rotifers

    Plants I don't know too well, but they are known for making polyploids often when they hybridize.
  5. Sep 10, 2016 #4


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