Studies on replication and evolution mechanisms of plant RNA viruses
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Error-prone replication of RNA viruses adds variation to their genomes. By chance, this process may result in variants that are adapted to new environments, although most such random variation is lethal or deleterious to the viruses (Sanjuán et al. 2004). Consequently, RNA virus populations need to continue to select for adaptive variants and to exclude deleterious ones. To achieve this, viruses need to solve an important problem: sharing the use of their gene products. Because viruses replicate and accumulate in host cells, most of their gene products are shared within each intracellular virus population, which can be as many as a million copies. Note that there are/can be exceptions in positive-strand and double-stranded RNA viruses, in which the co-translational binding of the gene products to template genomic RNA can avoid shared use (e.g., Kawamura-Nagaya et al. 2014). With the shared use of gene products, viral genomes with adaptive variation will share the benefits...
I express my deepest gratitude to Drs. Yukio Shirako, Hirohisa Kishino, Masayuki Ishikawa, Kazuhiro Ishibashi, Hideki Takahashi, and Sugihiro Ando for their continuous support. I thank Ms. Rieko Iwanami for technical assistance and Ms. Machi Suzuki and Ms. Sietske van Bentum for their contributions as students. I also thank the many people who provided material and other support for this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The author has no conflicts of interest to declare.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by the author.
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