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© Mart Krupovic, Junfeng Liu
Scanning electron micrograph of Saccharolobus islandicus cells (light blue) infected with the lemon-shaped virus STSV2 (yellow). Artistic rendering by Ala Krupovic.
Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

About

Research in the Archaeal Virology Unit focuses on addressing various fundamental questions at the interface of microbiology, virology and evolution: What molecular mechanisms allow viruses to subvert the host cells into virion-producing factories? What is the extent of viral diversity? What are the ultimate origins of different groups of viruses? How do these groups relate to each other as well as to other types of mobile genetic elements, such as plasmids and transposons? As a model for our research, we use viruses infecting archaea, which represent one of the least explored parts of the global virosphere. Archaea are hosts to viruses with some of the most unexpected virion morphologies, such as bottle-shaped, lemon-shaped, coil-shaped and droplet-shaped virions. The distinct nature of archaeal viruses also extends to their genomes, with the vast majority of the genes showing no similarity to sequences in the databases. We are exploring the extent of archaeal virus diversity in different habitats – from the human gut to hypersaline lakes and acidic hot springs – and study different aspects of their biology, including virion structure and assembly, molecular mechanisms of virus entry and egress as well as other aspects of virus-host interaction. During the past few years, we have isolated and characterized a number of new archaeal virus-host systems. This advancement provides us the opportunity to study not only virus-host interactions but also to explore different aspects of archaeal cell biology.

Morphologies of archaea-specific (A) and cosmopolitan (B) archaeal viruses. Bars, 100 nm.

Former Members

2000
2000
Name
Position
2017
2017
Yankel Chekli
Undergraduate student (M1)
2021
2021
Loïc Levacher
Undergraduate student (M1)
2018
2019
Karyna Karneyeva
Graduate Student (M2)
2020
2020
Marion Coves
Graduate Student (M2)
2012
2015
Emmanuelle Quemin
PhD Student
2013
2016
Elèna Rensen
PhD Student
2016
2019
Sofia Medvedeva
PhD Student (Vernadski fellowship)
2017
2020
Diana Paola Baquero Uriza
PhD Student (PPU fellowship)
2016
2018
Carolina Mizuno
Post-doc (EMBO)

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