Marx, Preston A. California Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis, California.
- Specific genera of retroviruses and diseases
- Origin of the AIDS virus
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A family of ribonucleic acid viruses that possess reverse transcriptase. Retroviruses are distinguished by four characteristics: (1) genetic information is in the form of RNA; (2) each single virus particle or virion (illus. c, arrow) possesses the enzyme reverse transcriptase; (3) virion morphology consists of two proteinaceous structures, a dense core (illus. a) and an envelope (illus. a) that surrounds the core; and (4) the viral reproductive cycle requires the synthesis of a DNA copy of the viral genome and insertion of that DNA into the genome of the host cell. See also: Animal virus; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Ribonucleic acid (RNA); Virus
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