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One of the smallest autonomous viruses known. It is an RNA bacteriophage of Escherichia coli that belongs to the family Leviviridae. Leviviruses are “male-specific” in that they adsorb specifically to the sides of F pili. The MS2 virus was the first to have its genome sequenced. It contains 3,569 nucleotides and encodes four proteins. The molecule is a single-stranded, positive sense RNA that is homologous with the viral mRNA. Therefore, MS2 must synthesize a negative-sense, single-stranded DNA molecule before mRNA can be transcribed. See Classification, 1973, 1976, Fiers et al.; F factor (fertility factor).

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics.

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