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Brome mosaic virus crystal structure (click on image to enlarge it)
Source: Wikimedia Commons


This family includes plant viruses with a positive-sense single stranded RNA genome which is divided into 3 components (RNA-1, RNA-2, RNA-3) and has a total size of around 8 kb. The RNAs are located in separate virions that can also contain subgenomic, defective or satellite RNAs. In the genera Anulavirus, Bromovirus, Cucumovirus and Ilarvirus, the virions are spherical or quasi-spherical with a diameter of 26-35 nm. However, they are bacilliform in the genera Alfamovirus and Oleavirus with a size of 18-26 x 30-85 nm.

The viruses replicate on cytoplasmic membranes. They are transmitted mechanically, through pollen, or non-persistently by insects. Several species cause important plant diseases like Cucumber mosaic virus, Alfalfa mosaic virus, Prunus necrotic ringspot virus, or Brome mosaic virus.

For a taxonomic review see Bujarski et al. (2019).

The following genera are currently entered under Bromoviridae: