Cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus capsid, molecular model. Part of the Cypovirus genus and invariably fatal, this insect virus is transmitted by contamination of leaves eaten (examples include silkworms). 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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