The motivation for focusing on a specific virus is often its importance in terms of impact on human interests. The chlorella viruses are a notable exception and 40 years of research has made them the undisputed model system for large icosahedral dsDNA viruses infecting eukaryotes. Their status has changed from inconspicuous and rather odd with no ecological relevance to being the Phycodnaviridae
type strain possibly affecting humans and human cognitive functioning in ways that remain to be understood. The Van Etten legacy is the backbone for research on Phycodnaviridae
. After highlighting some of the peculiarities of chlorella viruses, we point to some issues and questions related to the viruses we choose for our research, our prejudices, what we are still missing, and what we should be looking for.
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