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© Research
Publication : Nature microbiology

The new scope of virus taxonomy: partitioning the virosphere into 15 hierarchical ranks

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nature microbiology - 01 May 2020

Gorbalenya AE, Krupovic M, Mushegian A, Kropinski AM, Siddell SG, Varsani A, Adams MJ, Davison AJ, Dutilh BE, Harrach B, Harrison RL, Junglen S, King AMQ, Knowles NJ, Lefkowitz EJ, Nibert ML, Rubino L, Sabanadzovic S, Sanfaçon H, Simmonds P, Walker PJ, Zerbini FM, Kuhn JH

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 32341570

Link to DOI [DOI] – 10.1038/s41564-020-0709-x

Nat Microbiol 2020 May; 5(5): 668-674

Virus taxonomy emerged as a discipline in the middle of the twentieth century. Traditionally, classification by virus taxonomists has been focussed on the grouping of relatively closely related viruses. However, during the past few years, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) has recognized that the taxonomy it develops can be usefully extended to include the basal evolutionary relationships among distantly related viruses. Consequently, the ICTV has changed its Code to allow a 15-rank classification hierarchy that closely aligns with the Linnaean taxonomic system and may accommodate the entire spectrum of genetic divergence in the virosphere. The current taxonomies of three human pathogens, Ebola virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and herpes simplex virus 1 are used to illustrate the impact of the expanded rank structure. This new rank hierarchy of virus taxonomy will stimulate further research on virus origins and evolution, and vice versa, and could promote crosstalk with the taxonomies of cellular organisms.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32341570