Caulimovirus
Maygen Ward

There are many different microbes around the world.  Microbes are a part of peoples’ lives and are also a part of anything happening.  Without microbes, humans would have a hard time surviving and working.  They are an important part of everything in the world.

The Caulimovirus is a genus of the family Caulimoviridae.  The genome structure of the Caulimovirus contains a single molecule that is circular and is not segmented.  It is made up of a double-stranded DNA.  Caulimovirus is approximately 8000 nucleotides long.  It has single-stranded discontinuities at certain sites and the transcribed strand has one discontinuity (if not more).  The Caulimovirus may have an intergenic poly (A) region and open reading frames.  This virus is non-enveloped and is a large (50 nm diameter) icosahedral particle composed of 420 subunits.  The virion shell of the Caulimovirus is multilayered.

The Caulimovirus infects plants.  This genus is made up of plant pararetroviruses.  This means that they can reverse transcription of an RNA intermediate in order to replicate.  The Caulimovirus is transmitted by aphids in a semi persistent manner.  There are some “aphid-borne” Caulimoviruses require a virus-coded protein called a transmission factor.

One of the most important microbes in the Caulimovirus genus is the Cauliflower mosaic virus.  It was the first plant virus discovered to use DNA instead of RNA as its genetic material.  The Cauliflower mosaic virus replicates by reverse transcription.  It can be identified by using an indicator plant called Brassica campestris.  The Cauliflower mosaic virus causes the formation of inclusions in infected cells.  It is used in essentially all of the commercially released genetically modified crops.  The Cauliflower mosaic virus is needed in these crops because it drives the production of gene messages from the genes inserted to provide herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, antibiotic resistance, and several other functions deemed to improve the commercial quality of the crop.  This virus is still being researched to make sure that it does not hurt humans when ingested from the diet.   The HIV sequences have been found to function well in the Cauliflower mosaic virus and scientists are finding evidence of plant DNA viruses “jumping” from plants to animals.  This is being investigated but the Cauliflower mosaic virus has yet to be seen to be one of the viruses that appears to have jumped from plant to animal.  In a study from Purdue University, researchers have been studying how the Cauliflower mosaic virus and HIV are similar.  According to this study, these two viruses use the same process to multiply in there “victims’” cells and spread the disease.  Although the Cauliflower mosaic virus affects plants and HIV affects humans, researchers have found a way to stop the Cauliflower mosaic virus from spreading in plants.  This might open new doors in potentially finding a way to stop HIV from spreading in humans.

The Caulimovirus is a very important part of potential research.  With this virus, scientists may be able to find a way to stop the spread of HIV in humans.  This may lead to a way to get rid of HIV in humans permanently.  The Caulimovirus is undergoing many different experiments.  This virus is very important in many things.  Without the Caulimovirus, commercial crops would have to have new ways to become resistant to the environment and insects.  The Caulimovirus is important in today’s society.

Works Cited

Cauliflower Mosaic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Cauliflower Mosaic Virus: http://www.inra.fr/hyp3/pathogene/6camovi.htm
Caulimovirus. (2006, August 14). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Microbe Wiki: http://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Caulimovirus
Cummins, J. (n.d.). Cauliflower mosaic virus recombination, when and where? Retrieved February 20, 2009, from Third World Network: http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/mosaic-cn.htm
Discovery in Plant Virus May Help Prevent HIV and Similar Viruses. (2007, July 31). Retrieved February 20, 2009, from California Science and Technology News: http://www.ccnmag.com/article/discovery_in_plant_virus_may_help_prevent_hiv_and_similar_viruses

*Disclaimer - This report was written by a student participaring in a microbiology course at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The accuracy of the contents of this report is not guaranteed and it is recommended that you seek additional sources of information to verify the contents.

 

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