Our review of the highlights in virus research in 1988 differs from the previous highlight reviews (McGeoch , 1986, 1987, 1988) in that it includes work on plant viruses as well as animal viruses. This change is an attempt to make these reviews more general and to indicate areas of similarity and contact between the viruses of different kingdoms. Nonetheless it remains a highly selective view of progress in a wide and expanding scientific field.

We start by describing the current work on three specific groups of viruses, herpesviruses, hepadnaviruses and hepatitis delta virus (HDV). This leads into a discussion of mechanisms by which viral genes are replicated and expressed and then into some recent findings on viral genome organization, virus structure, the use of transformation in the study of plant viruses, and we conclude with an account of new disease agents.


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