Difference Between Plant Virus vs. Animal Virus

Main Difference

The main difference between the plant virus and the animal virus is that the plant virus mainly attacks plants and have single-stranded DNA or RNA, whereas animal virus primarily attacks animals and possess double-stranded DNA or RNA.

Plant Virus vs. Animal Virus

Plant virus is the virus that mainly attacks plants having single-stranded DNA or RNA, whereas animal virus primarily attacks animals and possess double-stranded DNA or RNA. Plant virus contains single-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material; on the other hand, the animal virus contains double-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material. Plant virus contains capsid as only their external boundary; on the contrary, the animal virus also contains envelope in addition to the capsid. Plant virus has linear nature of nucleic acid, but on the flip side, the animal virus has linear or circular nature of nucleic acid. Plant virus infects or enters through wound or pore whereas animal virus enters through endocytosis. Plant virus vector is mainly insects or other organisms that feed on plants, on the sideway, animal virus vectors may vary from protozoans to humans or carry by arthropods sometimes. Plant viruses are small, either filaments or polygons, whereas animal virus shows extreme variation in size and shape.

Comparison Chart

Plant VirusAnimal Virus
The virus that mainly attacks plants is called a plant virus.The virus that mainly attacks animals is called an animal virus.
Genetic Material
RNADNA
Capsid
It is only an external boundary.Also, have an envelope in addition to the capsid.
Nucleic Acid Strand
Single-strandedDouble-stranded
Infection
Pass in through wound or pores.Go in through endocytosis.
Nature of Nucleic Acid
LinearLinear or circular
Size and Shape
Small, either filaments or polygons.Shows extreme variation in size and shape
Vectors
Mainly insects or other organisms that feed on plants.May vary from protozoans to humans or carried by arthropods sometimes.

What is Plant Virus?

Those viruses that principally attack plants are called plant virus. They possess single-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material. Plant viruses are intracellular parasites that could not duplicate without a host as they do not own molecular machinery. Plant virus can be pathogenic to some higher plants. Plant viruses are mostly rod-shaped, with protein discs forming a tube around the viral genome; isometric particles is another common structure of plant virus. Plant virus has the only capsid that acts as an external boundary. They rarely have an envelope. Tobacco mosaic virus(TMV) is the first plant virus to be discovered. This virus and some other cause U.S$60 billion loss in crop yields worldwide annually. As plants do not move, so, plant-to-plant communication usually involves vectors. Plant vectors are mainly insects, weather, animals, fire, humans, infected plant’s sap, through pollen and some other organisms which feed on plants. Plants have cell walls, so plasmodesmata are the preferred pathway for virions to move between cells of plants. Furthermore, plant offspring may inherit viral diseases from their parent plants. Its symptoms are hyperplasia, galls, hypoplasia, etc.

Examples

Tobacco-mosaic virus, potato virus Y, etc.

What is Animal Virus?

Those viruses that principally attack animals are called an animal virus. They possess double-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material. Unlike plant virus, the animal virus does not have a cell wall to penetrate and gain access to the host cell. The animal virus contains an envelope as an addition to the capsid. Some are “non-enveloped” and “naked” animal virus that penetrates the host cell through two different ways. One is receptor-mediated endocytosis in which when protein in the viral capsid binds to the receptor of the host cell; the virus may be taken inside the cell via a vesicle during the normal cell process. Another method is by creating channels in which viral capsid proteins undergo shape changes after binding to the receptor of the host cell, creating different channels in the host cell membrane. The animal virus that is “Enveloped” also has two ways of penetration, which are receptor-mediated endocytosis or by fusion of viral genome and membrane. Receptor-mediated endocytosis process is same as some non-enveloped virus process. Fusion only occurs in enveloped viruses in which they fuse with thus releasing genome and viral capsid inside the cytoplasm. The animal virus is also associated with human diseases. Cancer is associated with viral infections such as cervical cancer caused by human papillomavirus(HPV), liver cancer caused by hepatitis B virus, etc. Animal virus vectors may vary from protozoans to humans or carry by arthropods sometimes.

Examples

Human papillomavirus(HPV), hepatitis B virus, etc.

Key Differences

  1. Plant virus is the virus that mainly attacks plants and have single-stranded DNA or RNA, whereas animal virus primarily attacks animals and possess double-stranded DNA or RNA.
  2. Plant virus contains capsid as only their external boundary; on the contrary, the animal virus also contains envelope in addition to the capsid.
  3. Plant virus contains single-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material; on the other hand, the animal virus contains double-stranded DNA or RNA as their genetic material.
  4. Plant virus has linear nature of nucleic acid, but on the flip side, the animal virus has linear or circular nature of nucleic acid.
  5. Plant virus infects or enters through wound or pore whereas animal virus enters through endocytosis.
  6. Plant virus vector is mainly insects or other organisms that feed on plants, on the sideway, animal virus vectors may vary from protozoans to humans or carry by arthropods sometimes.
  7. Plant viruses are small, either filaments or polygons, whereas animal virus shows extreme variation in size and shape.

Conclusion

The above discussion concludes that plant virus mainly attacks plants, whereas animal virus primarily attacks animals.

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