Learn more about the structure of virus by the help of these hands-on virus diagrams that you can easily save and print! Viruses are often considered non-living as they exist in an inert state outside of a host cell. They consist of a strand of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, surrounded by a protective protein coat (called as the ‘capsid’). Sometimes they have a further membrane of lipid, referred to as an envelope, surrounding the protein. They may also have a tail section. The first structure diagram of the virus can be seen in the following picture.
The virus diagram above shows the structure of animal virus and bacteriophage structure. As you can see, in this post we provide many shapes of viruses that are common. They are grouped on the basis of size and shape, chemical composition and structure of the genome, and mode of replication. Helical morphology is seen in nucleocapsids of many filamentous and pleomorphic viruses. Helical nucleocapsids consist of a helical array of capsid proteins (protomers) wrapped around a helical filament of nucleic acid. Icosahedral morphology is characteristic of the nucleocapsids of many “spherical” viruses. The number and arrangement of the capsomeres (morphologic subunits of the icosahedron) are useful in identification and classification. Many viruses also have an outer envelope. Take a look at the following structure diagrams below.
The diagrams above are the virus structures of enveloped with helical nucleocapsid (influenza virus) which is pretty similar with the enveloped with icosahedral nucleocapsid (herpesvirus). These viruses can be transmitted by travelling within a fluid, such as mucus droplets from a sneeze. Once they have entered a living host they begin the process of replication. This replication process always follows a particular pattern.
All pictures presented are the teaching resources of virus structures that you can easily save and print. Other educational diagram resources are also available in this site. Just browse our archive or type the key word on the search column!