1932

Abstract

For decades, viruses have been isolated primarily from humans and other organisms. Interestingly, one of the most complex sides of the virosphere was discovered using free-living amoebae as hosts. The discovery of giant viruses in the early twenty-first century opened a new chapter in the field of virology. Giant viruses are included in the phylum and harbor large and complex DNA genomes (up to 2.7 Mb) encoding genes never before seen in the virosphere and presenting gigantic particles (up to 1.5 μm). Different amoebae have been used to isolate and characterize a plethora of new viruses with exciting details about novel viral biology. Through distinct isolation techniques and metagenomics, the diversity and complexity of giant viruses have astonished the scientific community. Here, we discuss the latest findings on amoeba viruses and how using these single-celled organisms as hosts has revealed entities that have remained hidden in plain sight for ages.

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2022-09-29
2024-06-19
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