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LIFE 102 (201)

Virus evolution, viral diseases, emerging viruses, viroids, prions, restriction enzymes, cloned genes, DNA libraries

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Colorado State University
Life Science
LIFE 102
Louis Bjostad

25 AprilThe viral DNA that is integrated into the host genome is called a provirusUnlike a prophage a provirus remains a permanent resident of the host cellThe hosts DNA polymerase transcribes the proviral DNA into RNA moleculesThe RNA molecules function both as mRNA for synthesis of viral proteins and as genomes for new virus particles released from the cellEvolution of VirusesViruses do not fit our definition of living organismsSince viruses can reproduce only within cells they probably evolved as bits of cellular nucleic acidCandidates for the source of viral genomes are plasmids circular DNA in bacteria and yeasts and transposons small mobile DNA segmentsPlasmids transposons and viruses are all mobile genetic elementsMimivirus a doublestranded DNA virus is the largest virus yet discoveredThere is controversy about whether this virus evolved before or after cellsConcept 193 Viruses viroids and prions are formidable pathogens in animals and plantsDiseases caused by viral infections affect humans agricultural crops and livestock worldwideSmaller less complex entities called viroids and prions also cause disease in plants and animals respectivelyViral Diseases in AnimalsViruses may damage or kill cells by causing the release of hydrolytic enzymes from lysosomesSome viruses cause infected cells to produce toxins that lead to disease symptomsOthers have envelope proteins that are toxicVaccines are harmless derivatives of pathogenic microbes that stimulate the immune system to mount defenses against the actual pathogenVaccines can prevent certain viral illnesses
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