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viroid

Pronunciation: vi'royd

Definition: An infectious pathogen of plants that is smaller than a virus (MW 75,000–100,000) and differs from one in that it consists only of single-stranded closed circular RNA, lacking a protein covering (capsid); replication does not depend on a helper virus, but is mediated by host cell enzymes.

[virus + G. eidos, resemblance]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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