Persistent virus and addiction modules: an engine of symbiosis

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Jun:31:70-79. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.03.005. Epub 2016 Apr 1.


The giant DNA viruses are highly prevalent and have a particular affinity for the lytic infection of unicellular eukaryotic host. The giant viruses can also be infected by inhibitory virophage which can provide lysis protection to their host. The combined protective and destructive action of such viruses can define a general model (PD) of virus-mediated host survival. Here, I present a general model for role such viruses play in the evolution of host symbiosis. By considering how virus mixtures can participate in addiction modules, I provide a functional explanation for persistence of virus derived genetic 'junk' in their host genomic habitats.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophages / genetics
  • DNA, Viral / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / virology
  • Eukaryota / virology*
  • Genome, Viral / genetics
  • Giant Viruses / genetics*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / physiology*
  • Symbiosis / genetics*
  • Virophages / genetics
  • Virus Physiological Phenomena


  • DNA, Viral