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Long-term evolution of viruses: A Janus-faced balance

Cited 8 time in wos
Cited 8 time in scopus
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Long-term evolution of viruses: A Janus-faced balance
Other Titles
바이러스의 장기진화: 야누스 균형
Arshan Nasir
Gustavo Caetano-Anolles
Kim, Kyung Mo
Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
Issue Date
Arshan Nasir, Gustavo Caetano-Anolles, Kim, Kyung Mo. 2017. "Long-term evolution of viruses: A Janus-faced balance". BIOESSAYS, 39(8): 1700026-1700026.
The popular textbook image of viruses as noxious and selfish genetic parasites greatly underestimates the beneficial contributions of viruses to the biosphere. Given the crucial dependency of viruses to reproduce in an intracellular environment, viruses that engage in excessive killing (lysis) can drive their cellular hosts to extinction and will not survive. The lytic mode of virus propagation must, therefore, be tempered and balanced by non-lytic modes of virus latency and symbiosis. Here, we review recent bioinformatics and metagenomic studies to argue that viral endogenization and domestication may be more frequent mechanisms of virus persistence than lysis. We use a triangle diagram to explain the three major virus persistence strategies that explain the global scope of virus-cell interactions including lysis, latency and virus-cell symbiosis. This paradigm can help identify novel directions in virology research where scientists could artificially gain control over switching lytic and beneficial viral lifestyles.
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