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Historically, larger virion size (180 nm vs. 120-130 nm) and the yellow-green iridescence of patently-infected larvae and purified viral pellets distinguished chloriridoviruses from iridoviruses. Moreover, although chloriridoviruses were thought to only infect mosquito species, recent phylogenetic studies suggest they may have a broader host range.
Particle diameter is up to 180 nm in ultrathin section. The trimers and pentamers of invertebrate iridescent virus 3 (IIV3) are larger than the corresponding structures of members of the genus Iridovirus, with probably 14 capsomers to each edge of the trimer. Particle size has historically been used to define viruses that are members of this genus, but the validity of that characteristic is uncertain. A fringe of hair-like fibrils surrounds virus particles (Figure 2B.Iridoviridae).
IIV3 has a Mol Wt of approximately 2.49-2.75 ×109, a buoyant density of approximately 1.354 g cm−3 in CsCl, and a sedimentation coefficient of 4440-4460S.
The genome size of IIV3 is 191,132 bp with a G+C content of 48%. Of the 126 predicted genes, 68 are common between IIV6 and IIV3. Thirty-three IIV3 genes lack homologs in other iridovirids. There is little conservation of gene order among IIV3, IIV6, and IIV9, e.g., between IIV3 and IIV9 only five clusters of three or more genes were detected (Wong et al., 2011).
Proteomic analysis of IIV9, a tentative member of the genus, suggests up to 64 viral proteins are present within the virion. Putative genes found in IIV3 and IIV6 but not present in vertebrate iridovirids, include a DNA topoisomerase II, an NAD-dependent DNA ligase, SF1 helicase, IAP and a BRO protein. The genome of the type species, IIV3, contains 191 kbp and encodes a minimum of 126 ORFs. Other tentative members of the genus display 148-191 ORFs.
Only very limited colinearity has been observed between IIV3 and the genome of any other IIVs sequenced to date. The genes of IIV3, like those of other members of the family, are likely not grouped by temporal class, lack introns, are closely-spaced, and are not present on overlapping strands of the viral genome. Because suitable in vitro replication systems are lacking, little is known about the viral replication strategy. However, as with other members of the family, overall replication strategy is thought to be similar to that of FV3.
IIV3 is serologically distinct from members of other genera.
Chloriridovirus-like infections were reported from Diptera with aquatic larval stages, mainly mosquitoes. There is evidence for transovarial transmission in mosquitoes infected by IIV3. Horizontal transmission is achieved by cannibalism or predation of infected mosquitoes of other species. Patently infected larvae and purified pellets of virus display yellow-green iridescence although orange and red infections are known. IIV3 appears to have a narrow host range.
Members of the genus show 50% or greater sequence identity within the MCP gene. Criteria to distinguish species within the genus are under development. Isolates displaying 90% or greater nucleotide identity within the major capsid protein gene, or within a set of core genes, would likely be considered as members of the same viral species.
Invertebrate iridescent viruses (i.e., IIVs) were designated in the order in which they were identified. However, some were designated based on the host species from which they were isolated, e.g., Anopheles minimus iridovirus.
GenBank Acc. No.
invertebrate iridescent virus 9 (IIV9)
invertebrate iridescent virus 22 (IIV22)
invertebrate iridescent virus 22A (IIV22A)
invertebrate iridescent virus 25 (IIV25)
invertebrate iridescent virus 30 (IIV30)
Anopheles minimus iridiovirus (AMIV)
The assignment of these isolates to the genus Chloriridovirus is based on phylogenetic analyses indicating that they are more closely-related to IIV3 than to IIV6.
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