The Dicistroviridae are a family of Group IV (positive-sense ssRNA) insect-infecting viruses. Some of the insects commonly infected by dicistroviruses include aphids, leafhoppers, flies, bees, ants, and silkworms.
Although many dicistroviruses were initially placed in the Picornaviridae, they have since been reclassified into their own family. The name (Dicistro) is derived from the characteristic dicistronic arrangement of the genome.
This family is a member of the 'picornavirus-like superfamily' (Comoviridae, Iflavirus, Picornaviridae, Potyviridae, and Sequiviridae). Within this superfamily, the gene order is the gene order of the nonstructural proteins Hel(helicase)-Pro(protease)-RdRp(polymerase). The Dicistroviridae can be distinguished from the members of the taxa by the location of their structural protein genes at the 3' end rather than the 5' end (as found in Iflavirus, Picornaviridae and Sequiviridae) and by having two genomic segments rather than a single one (as in the Comoviridae).
This family has been divided into two genera and a number of as yet unclassified species.
- Genus: Aparavirus
- Genus Cripavirus:
- Cloudy wing virus
- Blackberry virus Z
- Acheta domesticus virus
- Mud crab dicistrovirus
- Bombyx mori infectious flacherie virus (BmIFV) – a silkworm virus
RNA structural elements
Many of the Dicistroviridae genomes contains structured RNA elements. For example, the Cripaviruses have an internal ribosome entry site, which mimics a Met-tRNA and is used in the initiation of translation.
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