Viruses in extreme environments, current overview, and biotechnological potential

Jose F. Gil, Victoria Mesa, Natalia Estrada-Ortiz, Mauricio Lopez-Obando, Andrés Gómez, Jersson Plácido

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Virus research has advanced significantly since the discovery of the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), the characterization of its infection mechanisms and the factors that determine their pathogenicity. However, most viral research has focused on pathogenic viruses to humans, animals and plants, which represent only a small fraction in the virosphere. As a result, the role of most viral genes, and the mechanisms of coevolution between mutualistic viruses, their host and their environ-ment, beyond pathogenicity, remain poorly understood. This review focuses on general aspects of viruses that interact with extremophile organisms, characteristics and examples of mechanisms of adaptation. Finally, this review provides an overview on how knowledge of extremophile viruses sheds light on the application of new tools of relevant use in modern molecular biology, discussing their value in a biotechnological context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number81
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Archaeal viruses
  • Bacterial viruses
  • Eukaryotic viruses
  • Extremophile viruses
  • Virosphere


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