Notes on Genus: Aquabirnavirus


Type member: Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus


General Description

The genus Aquabirnavirus (from the Latin aqua = water) is one of four genera in the family Birnaviridae and contains viruses isolated from aquatic animals (fish, crustacea and molluscs).


Virions isometric (icosahedral), not enveloped, 60 nm in diameter, made of 260 units trimeric subunits.


Bipartite double-stranded RNA of about 3.0-3.1 and 2.8 kb, each with a genome-linked protein (VPg) at the 5'-terminus and no 3'-polyA tail.

Genus Genomic Organization

Each segment encodes a large polyprotein that it is subsequently processed into the functional products and there is an additional, smaller ORF on the larger (A) segment. The two capsid proteins and a non-structural protein are encoded on segment A and an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase on segment B.

Type Member Genomic Organization

Segment A (3.1 kb) encodes:
  • ORF1: 17 kDa, VP5 protein of unknown function
  • ORF2: 106 kDa, Polyprotein that is subsequently processed into:
    • VP2, major outer capsid protein precursor that undergoes further truncation and cleavage
    • VP4, protease
    • VP3, internal capsid protein that undergoes further truncation
Segment B (2.8 kb) encodes a single 94 kDa protein (VP1) from ORF3 that is an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.