Tobacco necrosis virus capsid

Tobacco necrosis virus capsid

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tobacco necrosis virus capsid, molecular model. This plant virus infects a wide rage of plants, including the tobacco plant for which it is named. The virus causes tissue death (necrosis). In viruses, the capsid is the protein shell that encloses the genetic material. A capsid consists of subunits called capsomeres that self-assemble to form the shell seen here. Here, this shell, approximately spherical in shape, has icosahedral symmetry. One of the functions of the capsid is to aid the transmission of the viral genetic material into host cells. The cell mechanisms are then used to produce new virus particles.

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