Nucleocytoplasmic large DNA viruses
|Group:||Group I (dsDNA)|
Two unassigned genera, Dinodnavirus and Faustovirus, also belong to this clade. Another virus – Pacmanvirus – has been described. This virus appears to be related to Faustovirus, Kaumoebavirus and the Asfarviridae. Also Mollivirus and Ectocarpus siliculosus virus (ESV-1) have been placed into this clade. Another virus that appears to be distantly related to the Pithoviridae family is Cedratvirus lausannensis.
Reasons for NCLDV grouping
All have both common and unique features of genomic DNA and virion structure. It remains uncertain whether the similarities of different families of this group have a common viral ancestor, although the latter theory is controversial and under heavy scrutiny.
There are 47 NCLDV core genes currently recognised. These include the four key proteins involved in DNA replication and repair. These include the enzymes DNA polymerase family B, the topoisomerase II A, the FLAP endonuclease and the processing factor proliferating cell nuclear antigen. Other proteins include the DNA dependent RNA polymerase II and transcription factor II B.
It is probable that these viruses evolved before the separation of eukaryotes into the extant crown groups. The ancestral genome was complex with at least 41 genes, including: (1) the replication machinery; (2) up to four RNA polymerase subunits; (3) at least three transcription factors; (4) capping and polyadenylation enzymes; (5) the DNA packaging apparatus; (6) structural components of an icosahedral capsid and the viral membrane.
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