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Caulimoviruses are similar to the Cauliflower mosaic virus which is also the most important species of this genus and infects a variety of crops from the family of Brassicaceae. Other species have usually a more restricted host range. The viruses are transmitted by aphids in a semi persistent manner.
Like other Caulimoviridae, the Caulimovirus particles contain double-stranded DNA which is transcribed into RNA before being translated into proteins. During multiplication, the transcription is reversed to esemble the DNA genome in the particles. Such viruses are called pararetroviruses. The particles are isometric, not enveloped and about 45-50 nm in diameter. The DNA genome contains around 8000 base pairs and encodes 6 or 7 proteins.
Currently, the following species have been entered into the system: