Genetic diversity in RNA virus quasispecies is controlled by host-virus interactions

W. L. Schneider, M. J. Roossinck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


Many RNA viruses have genetically diverse populations known as quasispecies. Important biological characteristics may be related to the levels of diversity in the quasispecies (quasispecies cloud size), including adaptability and host range. Previous work using Tobacco mosaic virus and Cucumber mosaic virus indicated that evolutionarily related viruses have very different levels of diversity in a common host. The quasispecies cloud size for these viruses remained constant throughout serial passages. Inoculation of these viruses on a number of hosts demonstrated that quasispecies cloud size is not constant for these viruses but appears to be dependent on the host. The quasispecies cloud size remained constant as long as the viruses were maintained on a given host. Shifting the virus between hosts resulted in a change in cloud size to levels associated with the new host. Quasispecies cloud size for these viruses is related to host-virus interactions, and understanding these interactions may facilitate the prediction and prevention of emerging viral diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6566-6571
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number14
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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