The family includes many important plant viruses with several species causing serious disease epidemics in crops. The members have flexuous filamentous particles, up to 900 nm in length and with a ssRNA polyadenylated genome which is translated via a large polyprotein precursor. The genome may be monopartite or bipartite, ranging in size from 8.2 to 11.3 kb, with an average size of 9.7 kb. Most genomes are monopartite but those of members of the genus Bymovirus are bipartite. The viruses induce cytoplasmic cylindrical inclusions.
For a taxonomic review of this family see Wylie et al. (2017).
The following genera and groups are currently entered under Potyviridae: