When I first entered the field of virology, in the 1970s, the definition of virus included the then-correct observation that no viral genome encoded any part of the translational apparatus. This dictum was shattered by the discovery of giant viruses which were found to encode tRNAs, aminoacyl tRNA syntheses, and many proteins involved in translation. The phrase â€˜only the ribosome is lackingâ€™ was famously used to describe the giant Tupanvirus. While catchy, it is no longer entirely true: viral genomes have been identified that encode ribosomal proteins.
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