Bryony C. Bonning and Karyn N. Johnson
from: Insect Virology (Edited by: Sassan Asgari and Karyn N. Johnson). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)
The Dicistroviridae family is comprised of viruses that infect arthropods including beneficial and pest species as well as the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. The 30 nm virions have pseudo T=3 icosahedral symmetry and are non-enveloped. The defining character of this group of viruses is that the two open reading frames encoded by the positive-sense RNA genome are both translated directly from the genomic RNA. This is achieved via two internal ribosome entry sites that independently guide the initiation of translation of the structural and non-structural viral polyproteins; one by elegant molecular mimicry of the initiator tRNA. This chapter describes our current understanding of the molecular biology of these viruses, their interactions with their hosts and potential future impacts of dicistrovirus research read more ...