David Prangishvili

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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)
The unenveloped, stiff-rod-shaped, linear double-stranded DNA viruses SIRV1 and SIRV2 from Icelandic Sulfolobus isolates form a novel virus family, the Rudiviridae. The sizes of the genomes are 32. 3 kbp for SIRV1 and 35.8 kbp for SIRV2. The virions consist of a tube-like superhelix formed by the DNA and a single basic 15.8-kD DNA-binding protein. The tube(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)
A new Sulfolobus islandicus strain, REY15/4, harboured both a novel fusellovirus, SSV2, and a small plasmid, pSSVx. The plasmid spread in S. solfataricus P1 together with the virus after infection with either the supernatant of a culture of REY15/4 or purified virus. Spreading of the plasmid required co-transfection with either SSV2 or the related SSV1 as(More)
This review presents a personal account of research on archaeal viruses and describes many new viral species and families, demonstrating that viruses of Archaea constitute a distinctive part of the virosphere and display morphotypes that are not associated with the other two domains of life, Bacteria and Eukarya. I focus primarily on viruses that infect(More)
A novel virus, ATV, of the hyperthermophilic archaeal genus Acidianus has the unique property of undergoing a major morphological development outside of, and independently of, the host cell. Virions are extruded from host cells as lemon-shaped tail-less particles, after which they develop long tails at each pointed end, at temperatures close to that of the(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.
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)