Recombination between RNA viruses and plasmids might have played a central role in the origin and evolution of small DNA viruses

Bioessays. 2012 Oct;34(10):867-70. doi: 10.1002/bies.201200083. Epub 2012 Aug 7.


The finding that viruses with RNA and DNA genomes can recombine to produce chimeric entities provides valuable insights into the origin and evolution of viruses. It also substantiates the hypothesis that certain groups of DNA viruses could have emerged from plasmids via acquisition of capsid protein-coding genes from RNA viruses.

MeSH terms

  • DNA Viruses / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome, Viral
  • Models, Genetic
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • RNA Viruses / genetics*
  • Recombination, Genetic*