What Are Viruses and characteristics of viruses?
About Viruses and characteristics of viruses
Viruses are simple, acellular, ultra-microscopic entities consisting of either DNA or RNA enclosed in a coat of protein and able to reproduce. They have not metabolic system, no intrinsic motility, do not respond to stimuli and do not grow in the usual sense. However, like living organisms they are able to maintain genetic continuity and undergo mutations. The study of viruses is known as ‘Virology’.
(i) They are obligate intracellular parasites.
(ii) They have only a single kind of nucleic acid either DNA or RNA but never both.
(iii) They use host machinery for synthesis of their proteins.
(iv) Their nucleic acid directs the host cell to make various part of virus and then to assemble these parts into complete infectious particles.
(v) They can be propagated in living culture media only.
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