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Curr Opin Virol 2011 Dec;1(6):643-8
RNA viruses are notorious for rapidly generating genetically diverse populations during a single replication cycle, and the implications of this mutant population, often referred to as quasispecies, can be vast. Previous studies have linked RNA virus genetic variability to changes in viral pathogenesis, the ability to adapt to a host during infection, and to the acquisition of mechanisms required to switch hosts entirely. However, these initial studies are just the beginning. With the development of next generation technologies, groups will be able to dig deeper into the sequence space that is generated during an RNA virus infection and more clearly understand the development, role, and consequences of viral genetic diversity.