Pseudovirions in Animals, Plants, and Bacteria

  • H. Vasken Aposhian
Part of the Comprehensive Virology book series (CV, volume 5)


The term “pseudovirus” was used first by Michel et al. (1967) to describe a particle which is produced during the infection of cultured mouse cells by polyoma virus. This polyoma-related particle was found to contain fragments of mouse DNA encapsidated within the protein coat of polyoma virus. Since the discovery of polyoma pseudovirions by Michel et al. (1967) and independently by Winocour (1967a,b), pseudovirions have been discovered in preparations of simian virus 40 (SV40) and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). Although pseudovirions have been found only recently in animal cells and plant cells, they appear to be analogous in many ways to particles containing fragments of host-cell DNA, but no detectable virus-specific DNA, that are produced during the infection of bacterial cells by some bacterial viruses. Although these phagelike particles have not been called pseudovirions in the past, they fit the definition of pseudovirions and will be referred to as such in this chapter. Many of these bacterial pseudovirions have been shown to be capable of generalized transduction. However, generalized transduction has not been demonstrated, as yet, with any pseudovirions of animal- or plant-cell origin.


3T3D Cell Simian Virus Polyoma Virus Mouse Embryo Cell SV40 Infection 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Vasken Aposhian
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell and Developmental Biology College of Liberal ArtsUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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