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Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Order: Ligamenvirales
Family: Lipothrixviridae

Lipothrixviridae is a family of viruses in the order Ligamenvirales. Thermophilic archaea in the kingdom Crenarchaeota serve as natural hosts. There are currently nine species in this family, divided among 4 genera.[1][2][3][4][5]


Group: dsDNA


The family consists of four genera: Alphalipothrixvirus, Betalipothrixvirus, Gammalipothrixvirus and Deltalipothrixvirus.[6] They are classified into genera based on their genomic properties and on the diversity of their terminal appendages, which are involved in host cell recognition.

In the genus Gammalipothrixvirus claw-like structures are found at either end of the virion.

Members of the Lipothrixviridae share structural and genomic characteristics with viruses from the Rudiviridae family, which contains non-enveloped rod-shaped viruses. Viruses from the two families have linear dsDNA genomes and share up to nine genes. In addition, the filamentous particles of rudiviruses and lipothrixviruses are built from structurally similar, homologous major capsid proteins. Due to these shared properties viruses from the two families are classified into an order Ligamenvirales.[7]


The viruses are enveloped and rod-shaped. The capsid varies considerably in length - 410-1950 nanometers (nm) - and is 24-38 nm in diameter. The envelope has a bilayer structure and includes glycolipids and phospholipids, the latter being specifically di-phytanyl tetraethers lipids. The phosphate residues of phospholipids are oriented towards the inside of the viron; the glycosyl residues of glycolipids are oriented towards the outside of the viron.

From either end of the viron are protrusions extending from the core through the envelope. The capsid itself is elongated and exhibits helical symmetry. The core itself is helical.

There are two major capsid proteins (MCP1 and MCP2). The basic MCP1 protein forms a core around which the genomic dsDNA is wrapped, whereas MCP2 interacts with the genome with its basic N-terminal region and the hydrophilic C-terminal domain is embedded into the lipid envelope Genomes are linear, around 56kb in length.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic Arrangement Genomic Segmentation
Alphalipothrixvirus Rod-shaped Enveloped Linear Monopartite
Betalipothrixvirus Rod-shaped Enveloped Linear Monopartite
Gammalipothrixvirus Rod-shaped Enveloped Linear Monopartite
Deltalipothrixvirus Rod-shaped Enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life Cycle[edit]

Viral replication is cytoplasmic. Entry into the host cell is achieved by adsorption into the host cell. Dna templated transcription is the method of transcription. Archaea serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are passive diffusion.[1]

Genus Host Details Tissue Tropism Entry Details Release Details Replication Site Assembly Site Transmission
Alphalipothrixvirus Thermoproteus archaea None Injection Budding Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Passive diffusion
Betalipothrixvirus Archea None Injection Budding Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Passive diffusion
Gammalipothrixvirus Archea: acidianus None Injection Budding Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Passive diffusion
Deltalipothrixvirus Archea: acidianus None Injection Budding Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Passive diffusion


  1. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Arnold, H.P., Zillig, W., Ziese, U., Holz, I., Crosby, M., Utterback, T., Weidmann, J.F., Kristjanson, J.K., Klenk, H.P., Nelson, K.E. and Fraser, C.M. (2000). A novel lipothrixvirus, SIFV, of the extremely thermophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus. Virology, 267, 252-266.
  4. ^ Janekovic, D., Wunderl S, Holz I, Zillig W, Gierl A, Neumann H (1983) TTV1, TTV2 and TTV3, a family of viruses of the extremely thermophilic anaerobic, sulphur reducing, archaeabacterium Thermoproteus tenax. Mol. Gen. Genet. 19239-19245
  5. ^ Bettstetter, M., Peng, X., Garrett, R.A. and Prangishvili, D. (2003). AFV-1, a novel virus infecting hyperthermophilic archaea of the genus Acidianus. Virology, 315, 68-79.
  6. ^ Häring M, Vestergaard G, Brügger K, Rachel R, Garrett RA, Prangishvili D (2005) Structure and genome organization of AFV2, a novel archaeal lipothrixvirus with unusual terminal and core structures. J Bacteriol 187(11): 3855–3858 doi:10.1128/JB.187.11.3855-3858.2005
  7. ^ Prangishvili D, Krupovic M (2012). "A new proposed taxon for double-stranded DNA viruses, the order "Ligamenvirales"". Arch Virol 157 (4): 791–795. doi:10.1007/s00705-012-1229-7. PMID 22270758. 

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