Published on Sat Sep 04 2021

Viral Phrenology

Wilson, D. P., Roof, D.

Viral Phrenology is a new scheme for understanding the genomic composition of spherical viruses. We used icosahedral point arrays to classify 135 distinct viral capsids. We then show how to use the locations of these protrusions to determine the genetic composition of the virus.

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Abstract

We introduce Viral Phrenology, a new scheme for understanding the genomic composition of spherical viruses base on the locations of their structural protrusions. We used icosahedral point arrays to classify 135 distinct viral capsids collected from over 600 capsids available in the VIPERdb. Using gauge points of point arrays, we found 149 unique structural protrusions. We then show how to use the locations of these protrusions to determine the genetic composition of the virus. We then show that ssDNA, dsDNA, dsRNA and ssRNA viruses use different arrangements for distributing their protrusions. We also found that Triangulation number is also partially dependent on the structural protrusions. This analysis begins to tie together Baltimore classification and Triangulation number using point arrays.