The practical need to partition the world of viruses into distinguishable, universally agreed upon entities is the ultimate justification for developing a virus classification system. Since 1971, the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) operating on behalf of the world community of virologists has taken on the task of developing a single, universal taxonomic scheme for all viruses infecting animals (vertebrate, invertebrates, and protozoa), plants (higher plants and algae), fungi, bacteria, and archaea. The current report builds on the accumulated taxonomic construction of the eight previous reports dating back to 1971 and records the proceedings of the Committee since publication of the last report in 2005. Representing the work of more than 500 virologists worldwide, this report is the authoritative reference for virus organization, distinction, and structure.
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|Figure 1: (Left) Diagram of Enterobacteria phage T4 (T4) showing detailed location of structural proteins. Head vertices consist of cleaved gp24. Gp20 is located at the head–tail connector. Collar and whiskers appear to be made of the same protein, gpwac. Sheath subunits (gp18) fit into holes in the base plate and short tail proteins (gp12) are shown in the quiescent state. The complex base is assembled from a central plug and six wedges. Tail fibers consist of three proteins. (From Eiserling, F.A. (1983). In: Bacteriophage T4 (C.K. Mathews, E.M. Kutter, G. Mosig and P.B. Berget, Eds.), American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC; with permission.) (Right) Negative contrast electron micrograph of T4 particle stained with uranyl acetate. The bars represent 100 nm.||Figure 2: Simplified genetic map of Enterobacteria phage T4 (T4) showing clustering of genes with related functions, location of essential genes (solid bars) and direction and origin of transcripts (arrows). (From Freifelder, D. (Ed.) (1983). Molecular Biology, Science Books International, Boston, MA, and Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, p. 614; with permission.)|
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|Table 3: Cryo-EM-based reconstruction of bacteriophage phiKZ. Spiralling tail sheath vertices are highlighted. (Reconstruction courtesy of Andrei Fokine.)||Table 4: Electron micrographs of Mycobacterium phage I3. Phage particles were positively stained with uranyl acetate. The bar represents 100 nm. (Image courtesy of H. Ackermann.)|
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