The family Rhabdoviridae: mono- and bipartite negative-sense RNA viruses with diverse genome organization and common evolutionary origins

Ralf G. Dietzgen, Hideki Kondo, Michael M. Goodin, Gael Kurath, Nikos Vasilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

60 Scopus citations


The family Rhabdoviridae consists of mostly enveloped, bullet-shaped or bacilliform viruses with a negative-sense, single-stranded RNA genome that infect vertebrates, invertebrates or plants. This ecological diversity is reflected by the diversity and complexity of their genomes. Five canonical structural protein genes are conserved in all rhabdoviruses, but may be overprinted, overlapped or interspersed with several novel and diverse accessory genes. This review gives an overview of the characteristics and diversity of rhabdoviruses, their taxonomic classification, replication mechanism, properties of classical rhabdoviruses such as rabies virus and rhabdoviruses with complex genomes, rhabdoviruses infecting aquatic species, and plant rhabdoviruses with both mono- and bipartite genomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-170
Number of pages13
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017



  • Diversity
  • Genome organization
  • Negative-sense RNA virus
  • Replication
  • Rhabdovirus
  • Taxonomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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