Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus capsid

Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus capsid

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Credit: LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cowpea chlorotic mottle virus capsid, molecular model. This virus (CCMV) infects the cowpea plant (Vigna unguiculata), causing yellow spots of discolouration. 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.

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