Assembly and Release

Once the genome of a virus has been amplified, it must be packaged into infectious particles. This is a complicated process that is well understood for only a few viruses. The exact mechanisms that allow selective packaging of viral nucleic acid and particular virus-specific proteins are not completely elucidated. The site of assembly can be in the nucleus, in the cytoplasm in association with membranous organelles (endoplasmic reticulum or Golgi bodies), or at the cell surface. The process of virion release occurs through budding or in the case of naked nonenveloped viruses, through host cell lysis.

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