Many fungal viruses or mycoviruses have multi-segmented, rather than single-segmented, genomes. This multi-segment nature is frequently possessed by double-stranded RNA viruses, which include members of the Chrysoviridae, Quadriviridae, Megabirnaviridae, Partitiviridae, and Reoviridae families, and unassigned groups. Their genome segments are often packaged separately with the exception of mycoreoviruses, which are multi-segmented but mono-particulate viruses. These multi-segmented fungal dsRNA viruses, as exemplified by reoviruses, have been extensively studied among structural biologists, and contributed to discoveries of novel virion structures. Multi-component systems, interactions of viruses with subviral agents such as satellite and defective RNAs as typified by the yeast killer, and the rule-breaking neo-virus lifestyle exhibited by a capsidless single-stranded RNA virus hosted in an unrelated double-stranded RNA virus are also discussed. Fungal multi-segmented viruses and multicomponent virus systems would continue to provide virologists with interesting future challenges.
ASJC Scopus subject areas