TWiV 271: To bee, or not to bee, that is the infection

February 9, 2014

tobacco ringspot virusHosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan DoveRich Condit, and Ashlee Bennett

The TWiV crew discusses two reports on viruses that might have crossed kingdoms, from plants to honeybees and from plants to vertebrates.

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6 comments on “TWiV 271: To bee, or not to bee, that is the infection

  1. Yukie Feb 10, 2014

    Hello from Japan! I am taking “Virology” at Coursera and enjoying it very much! Well, I just heard you talking about microphones in Karaoke place… How contaminated they are. Actually, when you go in Karaoke place in Japan, you will find microphones with a plastic cover which says “disinfected”. (^_-)-☆

    • Hi Yukie, thanks for that bit of interesting information – do they change the plastic cover after each performer? That would make perfect sense. Glad to hear you are enjoying virology at Coursera!

  2. Vertebrate-infecting plant virus??
    Ummmm…I have argued previously, and I will again, that the Gibbs / Weiller paper does NOT state the most parsimonious case for the origin of circoviruses – or the purported acquisition of a “calicivirus” gene. Additionally, nanoviruses and circoviruses are both around now, meaning it would be hard to postulate that one evolved from the other. The presence of geminiviruses might also be seen to muddy the waters slightly, as possibly the biggest non-phage assemblage of ssDNA viruses.

    • Dorian McILROY Feb 15, 2014

      Hang on, I thought geminiviruses evolved from a plasmid carried by bacteria that infect plants? (
      On the other hand, it seems likely that rhabdoviruses that infect plants evolved from an animal-infecting virus, and not the other way around, since all the other Mononegavirales infect animals. I would guess the same goes for TSWV.

  3. mauri Feb 14, 2014

    Hi from northern Italy. What a nice surprise is to have this blog as an added value to your Virology at coursera! I am not afraid to admit that I am enjoying both of them, even though as a PhD in molecular biology and Biotech (and having used both lenti and adenov for a while) I should know these topics pretty well. But as you know, there is no limit in learning and in keeping the pace with novel perspectives. Your podcast is a good companion on my motorbike-drive to/from work. Thanks

  4. Dorian McILROY Feb 15, 2014

    Dear Vincent,

    Thanks for the link to Socrative. I have been looking for something just like that. This year I have been trying to do clicker questions using the university’s Moodle platform, but it’s a bit clunky, and less than a quarter of the students bring a laptop to the lecture.