Viral RNA Replication Modes: Evolutionary and Dynamical Implications
Viruses can amplify their genomes following different replication modes (RMs) ranging from the stamping machine replication (SMR) model to the geometric replication (GR) model. Different RMs are expected to produce different evolutionary and dynamical outcomes in viral quasi-species due to differences in the mutations accumulation rate. Theoretical and computational models revealed that while SMR may provide RNA viruses with mutational robustness, GR may confer a dynamical advantage against genomes degradation. Here, recent advances in the investigation of the RM in positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses are reviewed. Dynamical experimental quantification of Turnip mosaic virus RNA strands, together with a nonlinear mathematical model, indicated the SMR model for this pathogen. The same mathematical model for natural infections is here further analyzed, and we prove that the interior equilibrium involving coexistence of both positive and negative viral strands is globally asymptotically stable.
I especially thank Ernest Fontich for useful suggestions and Silvia Rubio for English corrections. I also thank Santiago F. Elena, Fernando Martínez and Jose Antonio Daròs for sharing this research subject. This work was funded by the Botín Foundation and by grant NSF PHY05-51164.
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