Family -- Dicistroviridae
This chapter focuses on Dicistroviridae family whose two member genera are Cripavirus and Aparavirus. The virions are roughly spherical with a particle diameter of approximately 30 nm and have no envelope. The virions exhibit icosahedral, pseudo T = 3 symmetry and are composed of 60 protomers, each composed of a single molecule of each of VP2, VP3, and VP1. A smaller protein VP4 is also present in the virions of some members and is located on the internal surface of the 5-fold axis below VP1. The virions are stable in acidic conditions and have sedimentation coefficients of between 153 and 167S. They contain a single molecule of infectious, linear, positive sense, single stranded RNA (ssRNA) of approximately 8500–10,000 nt in size with a GC content ranging from 35 to 45%. RNA constitutes about 30% of the virion weight and the proteins account for 70% of the virion weight. The approximately 200 kDa nonstructural polyprotein and 100 kDa structural polyprotein are encoded by ORF 1 and ORF 2, respectively. The virions contain three major structural (capsid) viral proteins, VP1, VP2, and VP3 and the size of these capsid proteins ranges from 24 to 40 kDa. The RNA genome is monopartite and dicistronic with two nonoverlapping ORFs that are separated and flanked by UTRs. All members of the family infect invertebrates and most members of the family are widely distributed in nature. Dicistrovirus infection is not usually associated with overt disease, although infection commonly leads to reduced life expectancy.