Introduction. The parvoviruses are among the smallest of the DNA animal viruses (Siegl , 1985). The genome is a linear single-stranded DNA of approximately 5 kb which is encapsidated in a naked icosahedral virion 20 to 26 nm in diameter. There are two or three capsid proteins which have overlapping amino acid sequences; the larger species have additional amino acids at the NH termini. The family Parvoviridae contains three genera. One, the densoviruses, contains viruses which have been isolated from several species of butterflies and moths. The other two genera, the parvoviruses and the dependoviruses (adeno-associated viruses), contain viruses which infect a broad range of vertebrates. Because our knowledge of the molecular biology of replication is significantly greater for the latter two genera, this review will concentrate on the regulation of gene expression in the parvoviruses and the dependoviruses.


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