|Group:||Group I (dsDNA)|
Iridoviridae are a family of viruses with double stranded DNA genomes. The name is derived from Iris the Greek goddess of the rainbow. This name was chosen because of the "rainbow like" iridescence observed in heavily infected insects and pelleted samples of invertebrate iridoviruses.
The taxonomy of this family is under revision with molecular methods and may be changed.
The virons are icosahedral with triangulation number (T) = 189–217, 120–350 nm in diameter and made up of three domains; an outer proteinaceous capsid, an intermediate lipid membrane and a central core containing DNA-protein complexes. Some of the viruses also have an outer envelope. The presence or absence of an envelope depends on whether they budded from the cell membrane (envoloped viruses) or were arranged in paracrystalline arrays within the host cell cytoplasm and then were released by cell lysis (non-enveloped viruses).
The linear genome varies between 150 and 303 kilobases in length. It contains terminal and redundant sequences and is circularly permuted.
Members of this family differ in their degree of genome methylation. The genera Chloriridovirus and Iridovirus lack a highly methylated genome. Members of the Lymphocystivirus, Megalocytivirus and Ranavirus genera have genomes with approximately 25 percent of their cytosine residues methylated by a virally encoded DNA methyltransferase.
Similar to the herpes viruses, transcription occurs in three stages: immediate-early, delayed-early, and late. Positive induction and negative feedback mechanisms exist in each stage, mediated by products of the other stages.
Virus particles enter the cell and uncoating occurs.
Packaging of the new genomes into virons occurs in the cytoplasm and the virus is released either by budding from of the cell membrane or cell lysis.
MicrobiologyBytes: Iridoviruses, retrieved 2007-03-06
Viral Bioinformatics Resource Center & Viral Bioinformatics – Canada, University of Victoria, archived from the original on August 17, 2007, retrieved 2007-03-06[dead link]
The Universal Virus Database of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses, retrieved 2007-03-06