Learn More
DNA viruses of the Archaea have highly diverse and often exceptionally complex morphotypes. Many have been isolated from geothermally heated hot environments, raising intriguing questions about their origins, and contradicting the widespread notion of limited biodiversity in extreme environments. Here, we provide a unifying view on archaeal viruses, and(More)
In terms of virion morphology, the known viruses of archaea fall into two distinct classes: viruses of mesophilic and moderately thermophilic Eueryarchaeota closely resemble head-and-tail bacteriophages whereas viruses of hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeota show a variety of unique morphotypes. In accord with this distinction, the sequenced genomes of(More)
Some viruses of Archaea use an unusual egress mechanism that involves the formation of virus-associated pyramids (VAPs) on the host cell surface. At the end of the infection cycle, these structures open outward and create apertures through which mature virions escape from the cell. Here we describe in detail the structure and composition of VAPs formed by(More)
This review summarizes the electron microscopical descriptions of prokaryote viruses. Since 1959, nearly 6300 prokaryote viruses have been described morphologically, including 6196 bacterial and 88 archaeal viruses. As in previous counts, the vast majority (96.3 %) are tailed, and only 230 (3.7 %) are polyhedral, filamentous, or pleomorphic. The family(More)
Prokaryotes, bacteria and archaea, are the most abundant cellular organisms among those sharing the planet Earth with human beings (among others). However, numerous ecological studies have revealed that it is actually prokaryotic viruses that predominate on our planet and outnumber their hosts by at least an order of magnitude. An understanding of how this(More)
Spindle-shaped virus-like particles are abundant in extreme geothermal environments, from which five spindle-shaped viral species have been isolated to date. They infect members of the hyperthermophilic archaeal genus Sulfolobus, and constitute the Fuselloviridae, a family of double-stranded DNA viruses. Here we present four new members of this family, all(More)
This minireview summarizes what is known about genetic elements in the archaeal crenarchaeotal genus Sulfolobus, including recent work on viruses, cryptic plasmids, a novel type of virus satellite plasmids or satellite viruses, and conjugative plasmids (CPs), mostly from our laboratory. It does not discuss IS elements and transposons.
Compartmentalization is an important organizational feature of life. It occurs at varying levels of complexity ranging from eukaryotic organelles and the bacterial microcompartments, to the molecular reaction chambers formed by enzyme assemblies. The structural basis of enzyme encapsulation in molecular compartments is poorly understood. Here we show, using(More)
We describe five novel conjugative plasmids (CPs) and two subfamilies, each comprising several closely related variants of CPs isolated from colony-cloned strains of the extremely thermophilic, heterotrophic archaeon Sulfolobus islandicus, which were obtained by plating of samples from Icelandic solfataras after liquid enrichment. They are related to each(More)
We describe a novel virus, AFV1, of the hyperthermophilic archaeal genus Acidianus. Filamentous virions are covered with a lipid envelope and contain at least five different proteins with molecular masses in the range of 23-130 kDa and a 20.8-kb-long linear double-stranded DNA. The virus has been assigned to the family Lipothrixviridae on the basis of(More)