Virus 1 (image) Arizona State University Share Print E-Mail Caption In all cellular life, whether prokaryotic (bacteria), eukaryotic (plants, animals, fungi, etc) or archeal, the flow of genetic information is the same. Often referred to as the central dogma of molecular biology, the basic outline involves double-stranded DNA transcribed into single-stranded RNA and finally translated into a functional product, namely protein. Viruses are composite structures that can acquire genetic material from a variety of sources. Unlike cells, viruses can use either DNA or RNA as their genetic material and can have all possible combinations of strandedness and nucleic acid type (double-stranded DNA, double-stranded RNA, single-stranded DNA, or single-stranded RNA) As the graphic illustrates, viruses can acquire genetic fragments and incorporate these into their genome. Such fragments may include circular genes or plasmids and mobile genetic elements like jumping-genes (transposons). By matching common sequences, the current study explores three plausible evolutionary events that may have contributed to a central component found in a large and important viral group known as single-stranded CRESS viruses. Credit Graphic by Shireen Dooling Usage Restrictions None Share Print E-Mail Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.