Structural Characterization of Two Large Icosahedral DNA Viruses and Their Capsid Assembly Mechanisms

Yuejiao Xian, University of Texas at El Paso


In the last three decades, many large DNA viruses were discovered and grouped into a loosely defined clade of Nucleocytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses (NCLDVs). NCLDVs infect a wide range of hosts from single cellular protists to large animals. Recently, these viruses were classified as a new phylum of Nucleocytoviricota under the kingdom of Bamfordvirae. The genomes of these Nucleocytoviricota viruses (NCVs) are remarkedly large and complicated, containing many cellular genes from all three domains of life, which raised intensive debates on their evolutionary origins. Despite being classified in the same phylum, their physical structures vary and can be roughly classified as icosahedral and non-icosahedral NCVs. Little is known on how these viruses precisely assemble their gigantic viral capsids. This dissertation focuses on characterizing the structures of two icosahedral NCVs, Aureococcus anophagefferens Virus and Cafeteria Roenbergensis Virus, as well as their capsid assembly mechanisms using multidisciplinary approaches. This dissertation sheds lights on the molecular mechanisms of NCVs capsid assembly, which deepen our knowledge in NCVs morphogenesis and contribute to the studies in macromolecule assembly at large.

Subject Area

Virology|Biochemistry|Chemistry|Biophysics|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Xian, Yuejiao, "Structural Characterization of Two Large Icosahedral DNA Viruses and Their Capsid Assembly Mechanisms" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28257731.