Most fungal, double-stranded (ds) RNA viruses lack an extracellular life cycle stage and are transmitted by cytoplasmic interchange. dsRNA mycovirus capsids are based on a 120-subunit T = 1 capsid, with a dimer as the asymmetric unit. These capsids, which remain structurally undisturbed throughout the viral cycle, nevertheless, are dynamic particles involved in the organization of the viral genome and the viral polymerase necessary for RNA synthesis. The atomic structure of the T = 1 capsids of four mycoviruses was resolved: the L-A virus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae
(ScV-L-A), Penicillium chrysogenum
virus (PcV), Penicillium stoloniferum
virus F (PsV-F), and Rosellinia necatrix
quadrivirus 1 (RnQV1). These capsids show structural variations of the same framework, with 60 asymmetric or symmetric homodimers for ScV-L-A and PsV-F, respectively, monomers with a duplicated similar domain for PcV, and heterodimers of two different proteins for RnQV1. Mycovirus capsid proteins (CP) share a conserved α-helical domain, although the latter may carry different peptides inserted at preferential hotspots. Insertions in the CP outer surface are likely associated with enzymatic activities. Within the capsid, fungal dsRNA viruses show a low degree of genome compaction compared to reoviruses, and contain one to two copies of the RNA-polymerase complex per virion.
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