Virus classification
Group: Group II (ssDNA)
Family: Nanoviridae

Nanoviridae is a family of viruses. Plants serve as natural hosts. There are currently ten species in this family, divided among 2 genera. Diseases associated with this family include: stunting.[1][2] Their name is derived from the Greek word 'nano (dwarf) because of their small genome and their stunting effect on infected plants.


Group: ssDNA


Virus structure and genome

Viruses in Nanoviridae are non-enveloped, with icosahedral and round geometries, and T=1 symmetry. The diameter is around 18-19 nm.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic Arrangement Genomic Segmentation

The genome is composed of a multiple segments of single stranded circular DNA each ~1 kilobase in length (about 81 kb in total length[1]). There between 6 and 11 circular segments depending on the genus. The segments each encode a single protein. There is a putative stem loop structure in the non-coding region of each segment which has a conserved 9-nucleotide sequence at its apex.

Each member has up to 4 segments encoding replication proteins of ~33 kiloDaltons (kDa). The other segments encode products of 10-20 kDa in size and include a coat protein of ~19 kDa and a protein with a retinoblastoma binding motif.

Life Cycle

Viral replication is nuclear. Entry into the host cell is achieved by penetration into the host cell. Replication follows the ssDNA rolling circle model.[1] After infection of a host cell, the small DNA molecules that have become encapsidated with the genomic ssDNA act as primers. They bind to complementary regions and help in initiation of DNA synthesis by host polymerases. On completion of synthesis, there will be a double stranded intermediate that is transcribed unidirectionally. Most individual nanovirus particles only encode for a single protein. DNA-templated transcription is the method of transcription. The virus exits the host cell by nuclear pore export, and tubule-guided viral movement. Plants serve as the natural host. The virus is transmitted via a vector (aphids).[1]

Genus Host Details Tissue Tropism Entry Details Release Details Replication Site Assembly Site Transmission
NanovirusPlants: legumesPhloemViral movement; mechanical inoculationSecretion; viral movementNucleusNucleusAphids
BabuvirusPlants: musa speciesPhloemViral movement; mechanical inoculationSecretion; viral movementNucleusNucleusAphids


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. 1 2 ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
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