Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 19549825
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 Jul;106(27):11306-11
Little is known about the infection cycles of viruses infecting cells from Archaea, the third domain of life. Here, we demonstrate that the virions of the archaeal Sulfolobus islandicus rod-shaped virus 2 (SIRV2) are released from the host cell through a mechanism, involving the formation of specific cellular structures. Large pyramidal virus-induced protrusions transect the cell envelope at several positions, rupturing the S-layer; they eventually open out, thus creating large apertures through which virions escape the cell. We also demonstrate that massive degradation of the host chromosomes occurs because of virus infection, and that virion assembly occurs in the cytoplasm. Furthermore, intracellular viral DNA is visualized by flow cytometry. The results show that SIRV2 is a lytic virus, and that the host cell dies as a consequence of elaborated mechanisms orchestrated by the virus. The generation of specific cellular structures for a distinct step of virus life cycle is known in eukaryal virus-host systems but is unprecedented in cells from other domains.