Avian polyomavirus capsid

Avian polyomavirus capsid

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Avian polyomavirus capsid, molecular model. This virus, one of a range named for their potential to cause multiple tumours, infects birds. Discovered in budgerigars in 1981, it is often fatal. 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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