The origins of giant viruses, virophages and their relatives in host genomes
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK
BMC Biology 2014, 12:51 doi:10.1186/s12915-014-0051-yPublished: 30 June 2014
Giant viruses have revealed a number of surprises that challenge conventions on what constitutes a virus. The Samba virus newly isolated in Brazil expands the known distribution of giant mimiviruses to a near-global scale. These viruses, together with the transposon-related virophages that infect them, pose a number of questions about their evolutionary origins that need to be considered in the light of the complex entanglement between host, virus and virophage genomes.