Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Order: Unassigned
Family: Ampullaviridae

Ampullaviridae is a family of viruses that infect archaea of the genus Acidianus.[1] Only one genus in this family has been described, Ampullavirus, which contains one species, Acidianus bottle-shaped virus. The name of the family and genus is derived from the Latin word for bottle, ampulla, due to the virions having the shape of a bottle. The family was first described during an investigation of the microbial flora of hot springs in Italy.

Structure and genome

Ampullaviruses have unique morphology, with the virions being bottle-shaped with one narrow end that smoothly expands into a wider end for an overall length of about 230 nm and width of about 75 nm at the broad end. The narrow end projects beyond the viral envelope and is likely used to inject the viral DNA into host cells. The broad end possesses about 20 thin filaments, each that are regularly distributed in a ring. Inside the envelope is a funnel-shaped protein coat that houses the viral DNA.[1]

The genome of ampullaviruses is linear, double-stranded DNA that is about 23.8 kilobases in length. The genome contains an estimated 56 or 57 open reading frames that encode for at least six structural proteins.[1][2]


  1. 1 2 3 Häring, M; Rachel, R; Peng, X; Garrett, R. A.; Prangishvili, D (2005). "Viral diversity in hot springs of Pozzuoli, Italy, and characterization of a unique archaeal virus, Acidianus bottle-shaped virus, from a new family, the Ampullaviridae". Journal of Virology. 79 (15): 9904–11. doi:10.1128/JVI.79.15.9904-9911.2005. PMC 1181580Freely accessible. PMID 16014951.
  2. Peng, X; Basta, T; Häring, M; Garrett, R. A.; Prangishvili, D (2007). "Genome of the Acidianus bottle-shaped virus and insights into the replication and packaging mechanisms". Virology. 364 (1): 237–43. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2007.03.005. PMID 17412384.

External links

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