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An update on giant viruses

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Giant viruses comprise a monophyletic group of viruses that infect mostly, but not only, phagocytic protists. These viruses have long been neglected because they were removed from samples during viral purification for viral metagenomic studies. Their discovery a decade ago has modified our view of the ...

Giant viruses comprise a monophyletic group of viruses that infect mostly, but not only, phagocytic protists. These viruses have long been neglected because they were removed from samples during viral purification for viral metagenomic studies. Their discovery a decade ago has modified our view of the definition of viruses. Their discovery was associated with the discovery of virophages, the first viruses able to infect virus factory, and transpovirons, genetic mobile elements comparable to that of transposons in bacteria. Their analysis has raised important questions regarding evolution and their relationships with their hosts. For example, it was recently observed that Mimiviruses are the second group amongst nucleo-cytoplasmic large DNA viruses most searched in the Google platform, and, on some occasions, even overcome the well-known poxviruses. The goal of the present Research Topic is to provide the readers with an update on the last advances in giant viruses knowledge by experts in the field.


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