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Diploid Viruses?

Ian A. York york at mbcrr.dfci.harvard.edu
Sun Oct 23 09:59:46 EST 1994

In article <Cy24L5.H9t at eecs.nwu.edu> markb at hook.eecs.nwu.edu (Mark E. Brodsky) writes:
>Recently, I was browsing a Virology WWW page, when I came across a
>referance to "Diploid" viruses. It seemed to imply that these were not
>diploid in the usual sense of the word, but the server did not
>elaborate any more on the subject. Could someone please explain what
>is meant by a diploid virus? Thank you.

I'm not sure if this is what was meant, but herpes simplex virus (and 
most of the other herpes viruses) are pseduodiploid for some of their 
genes.  This is because their genome contains repeated regions which 
encode a couple of genes: (ascii herpes simplex virus: not to scale)  

  ____                                   ________                 __
 ^^^^^^ b                             k ^^^^^^^^^^               ^^^^
 gene a                                   a  ^^^^^               ^^^^
                                               l   m           t   l 

As this schematic is supposed to show, genes "a" and "l" are doploid, 
while genes "b" to "k" and "m" to "t" are not.

Hope this helps.


Ian York   (york at mbcrr.harvard.edu)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston MA 02115
Phone (617)-632-4328     Fax  (617)-632-2627

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