A virus is a genome that is packaged in a protein coat. The only thing that exists is that it invades cells, takes over the protein factory to replicate itself, and then spreads to other cells. So, it seems self-evident that the entire genome of the virus must invade the infected cells. However, recent research published on eLife has overturned this traditional perception.
Some plant viruses can not only break down genes into several cells like the Lego bricks, but French researchers have found that broken genes from different virus individuals can be recombined like puzzles to form a complete genome. Self-assembly and replication.
Christopher Brooke, a virologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, explains that, in other words, by injecting all the necessary gene products of the virus into the cells of the host, a new virus can be made in the cell without being The real virus invades.
This amazing discovery also made scientists very curious about the ability of the virus to evolve such a situation. In fact, although modularity sounds very advanced, the shortcomings are extremely obvious—because some parts of the genome are easily lost, too many constituent modules cannot be stable, so they cannot be inherited.
For example, the broad bean necrosis virus (FBNSV) has as many as 8 fragments, each of which is carried in a different particle. In theory, it cannot evolve.
Some researchers have speculated that the virus’s module can evolve independently, because the probability of a particular gene mutation may depend on its number of replications. Eric Freundt, a virologist at the University of Tampa in the United States, speculates that if the defense system of a plant host targets cells expressing certain viral proteins, then distributing the genes that regulate the protein to different modules may improve concealment. Freundt believes that another possibility is that by distributing its genome in many plant cells, the virus can avoid the consumption of individual cells at one time.
Evolutionary virologist Mark P. Zwart of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology predicts that a new theoretical model will soon emerge to explore various insights, such as the evolutionary path of viruses based on a variety of natural selection methods. In a single host plant, the power of natural selection will allow the virus to successfully balance its productivity. But when the virus is transferred to a new host, it must adapt to the new host environment, so genetic diversity needs to be preserved.