Desjardins Et Al

Notes from the Article for today (11/9/07)

What is a mimivirus?
• 1.18 million base pairs
• Large genome
• Big virus
What is a polydnavirus?
• Virus with multiple DNA circles (strands)
-Each packaged in separate capsids
-Each capsid is put together into single membrane envolope
Why is this polydnavirus important to its wasp post?
• Parasitic wasps:
-Lay eggs in live caterpillar
-Eggs then hatch, consume the caterpillar + then burst out of caterpillar
-Polydnavirus replicates in the wasp ovaries + is injected into caterpillar – virus takes over caterpillar development  wasp larva instead
Where do viruses come from?
• One theory is they evolved before cells
• Mimivirus is the second theory of how viruses came from
• Another theory is that it came from the host itself
How do we usually tell what things are related to other things?
• Sequencing the genome  the more similar the more related they are ex: Humans vs. chimps
• Viruses related to bacteria  can tell by comparing their genomes (this is complicated because viruses replicate themselves by host cell genomes, and bacteria can exchange DNA amongst each other)
-No real good way for us to tell how a virus is related to bacteria, but the virus takes DNA from the last host it had

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