Viruses of the Archaea: A Unifying View

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2006 Nov;4(11):837-48. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro1527.


DNA viruses of the Archaea have highly diverse and often exceptionally complex morphotypes. Many have been isolated from geothermally heated hot environments, raising intriguing questions about their origins, and contradicting the widespread notion of limited biodiversity in extreme environments. Here, we provide a unifying view on archaeal viruses, and present them as a particular assemblage that is fundamentally different in morphotype and genome from the DNA viruses of the other two domains of life, the Bacteria and Eukarya.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Archaea / virology*
  • Archaeal Viruses / classification*
  • Archaeal Viruses / genetics*
  • Archaeal Viruses / ultrastructure
  • Biological Evolution
  • Genome, Viral