Invertebrate iridescent viruses (IVs) belong to the family Iridoviridae, which are large icosahedral viruses with a large genome of double-stranded DNA. These viruses are not occluded in a protective protein matrix, unlike the well-known nucleopolyhedroviruses (NPVs), granuloviruses (GVs), cytoplasmic polyhedrosis viruses (CPVs), and entomopoxviruses (EPVs). Members of the Iridoviridae, are structurally complex, however, and show a number of unique characteristics in terms of their genomic organization, structure, and mechanisms of replication, which unite the family.
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