Algal Viruses: The (Atomic) Shape of Things to Come

Christopher T Evans, Oliver Payton, Loren Picco, Michael J Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

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Visualization of algal viruses has been paramount to their study and understanding. The direct observation of the morphological dynamics of infection is a highly desired capability and the focus of instrument development across a variety of microscopy technologies. However, the high temporal (ms) and spatial resolution (nm) required, combined with the need to operate in physiologically relevant conditions presents a significant challenge. Here we present a short history of virus structure study and its relation to algal viruses and highlight current work, concentrating on electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy, towards the direct observation of individual algae⁻virus interactions. Finally, we make predictions towards future algal virus study direction with particular focus on the exciting opportunities offered by modern high-speed atomic force microscopy methods and instrumentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number490
Number of pages17
Issue number9
Early online date12 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2018


  • algal virus
  • imaging
  • atomic force microscopy
  • electron microscopy
  • virus structure
  • infection dynamics

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