Route of NCLDV evolution: the genomic accordion

Curr Opin Virol. 2013 Oct;3(5):595-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2013.07.003. Epub 2013 Jul 27.


Nucleo cytoplasmic large DNA virus (NCLDV) superfamily forms a diverse group of viruses that infects a wide range of eukaryotic hosts (e.g. vertebrates, insects, protests, etc.). These viruses are characterized by a huge range in genome size (between 100kb and 1.2Mb), coupled with an extraordinary diverse genomic repertoire. Here I will review some recent results that shed light on the origin and genome evolution of these viruses, introducing the idea that these viruses evolved using a complex process of genomic accordion that imply successive steps of genome expansions (duplication and gene transfers) and genome reduction, in addition to movement and amplification of diverse mobile genetic elements.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • DNA Viruses / genetics*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genome Size
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Genomics