Typical structure of a podovirus
Virus classification
Group: Group I (dsDNA)
Order: Caudovirales
Family: Podoviridae
Subfamilies and Genera

Podoviridae is a family of viruses in the order Caudovirales. Bacteria serve as natural hosts. There are currently 50 species in this family, divided among 20 genera.[1][2] This family is characterized by having very short, noncontractile tails.


Viruses in Podoviridae are non-enveloped, with icosahedral and head-tail geometries. The diameter is around 60 nm,[1] and consists of 72 capsomers. The head protein has a molecular mass of ~38 kiloDaltons and is present in 460 copies per virion. There are 9 structural proteins. The tail is non-contractile and has 6 short subterminal fibers. It is thick and rod-shaped and built of stacked disks. The maximum length is ~17 nm.

The double stranded DNA genome is linear, around 40-42kb in length,[1] and encodes ~55 genes. The guanine + cytosine content is ~50%. It has terminally redundant sequences and is nonpermuted. By weight, the genome constitutes ~50% of the viron. The genome encodes 9 structural proteins, an adenylated transferase B type DNA polymerase and an RNA polymerase. Three internal proteins constitute the polymerase complex. Two classes of genes are recognized (early and late). This classification is based on the timing of transcription that is temporally regulated. Genes with related functions are clustered together. Genome replication is bidirectional.

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic Arrangement Genomic Segmentation
Phi29likevirusHead-TailT=3, Q=5 Non-EnvelopedLinearMonopartite

Life Cycle

Viral replication is cytoplasmic. Entry into the host cell is achieved by adsorption into the host cell. Replication follows the DNA strand displacement model. DNA-templated transcription is the method of transcription. The virus exits the host cell by lysis, and holin/endolysin/spanin proteins. Bacteria serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are passive diffusion. [1]

Genus Host Details Tissue Tropism Entry Details Release Details Replication Site Assembly Site Transmission
PhikmvlikevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Sp6likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
T7likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
AhjdlikevirusBacteria: gram positiveNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Phi29likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Bcep22likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
BppunalikevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Epsilon15likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
F116likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Luz24likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
N4likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
P22likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion
Phieco32likevirusBacteriaNoneInjectionLysisCytoplasmCytoplasmPassive diffusion


Genera within this family have ~40% homology between corresponding proteins. Subfamiles have ~20% homology between corresponding proteins.

This family is divided into two subfamiles (Autographivirinae and Picovirinae) and a number of genera awaiting classification into subfamilies.[3][4]

Group: dsDNA


Proposed genera

The following genera have been proposed but are not currently ratified by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses:[4][5][6][7][8][9]


  1. 1 2 3 4 "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  2. 1 2 ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  3. "International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses". ictvonline.org. Virology Division of IUMS. 2014. Retrieved August 14, 2014.
  4. 1 2 Lavigne, R.; Seto, D.; Mahadevan, P.; Ackermann, H. W.; Kropinski, A. M. (2008). "Unifying classical and molecular taxonomic classification: analysis of the Podoviridae using BLASTP-based tools". Research in Microbiology. 159 (5): 406–14. doi:10.1016/j.resmic.2008.03.005. PMID 18555669.
  5. Abbasifar R, Kropinski AM, Sabour PM, Ackermann HW, Alanis Villa A, Abbasifar A, Griffiths MW (2013) The genome of Cronobacter sakazakii bacteriophage vB_CsaP_GAP227 suggests a new genus within the Autographivirinae. Genome Announc 1(1). pii: e00122-12. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00122-12
  6. Labrie SJ, Frois-Moniz K, Osburne MS, Kelly L, Roggensack SE, Sullivan MB, Gearin G, Zeng Q, Fitzgerald M, Henn MR, Chisholm SW (2012) Genomes of marine cyanopodoviruses reveal multiple origins of diversity. Environ Microbiol doi:10.1111/1462-2920.12053
  7. Kleppen HP, Holo H, Jeon SR, Nes IF, Yoon SS (2012) A novel bacteriophage of the Podoviridae family infecting Weissella cibaria isolated from kimchi. Appl Environ Microbiol doi:10.1128/AEM.00031-12
  8. Mizuno, C. M.; Rodriguez-Valera, F.; Kimes, N. E.; Ghai, R. (2013). "Expanding the Marine Virosphere Using Metagenomics". PLoS Genetics. 9 (12): e1003987. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003987. PMC 3861242Freely accessible. PMID 24348267.
  9. Holmfeldt, K.; Solonenko, N.; Shah, M.; Corrier, K.; Riemann, L.; Verberkmoes, N. C.; Sullivan, M. B. (2013). "Twelve previously unknown phage genera are ubiquitous in global oceans". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 110 (31): 12798–12803. doi:10.1073/pnas.1305956110.
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