The virophage as a unique parasite of the giant mimivirus

  title={The virophage as a unique parasite of the giant mimivirus},
  author={Bernard La Scola and Christelle Desnues and Isabelle Pagnier and Catherine Robert and Lina Barrassi and Ghislain Fournous and Mich{\`e}le Merchat and Marie Suzan-Monti and Patrick Forterre and Eugene V. Koonin and Didier Raoult},
Viruses are obligate parasites of Eukarya, Archaea and Bacteria. Acanthamoeba polyphaga mimivirus (APMV) is the largest known virus; it grows only in amoeba and is visible under the optical microscope. Mimivirus possesses a 1,185-kilobase double-stranded linear chromosome whose coding capacity is greater than that of numerous bacteria and archaea. Here we describe an icosahedral small virus, Sputnik, 50 nm in size, found associated with a new strain of APMV. Sputnik cannot multiply in… CONTINUE READING
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