RNA virus reassortment - An evolutionary mechanism for host jumps and immune evasion

Vijaykrishna D, Mukherji R, Smith GJD. 2015. PLoS Pathogens 11: e1004902.


Reassortment is an evolutionary mechanism of segmented RNA viruses that plays an important but ill defined role in virus emergence and interspecies transmission. Recent experimental studies have greatly enhanced our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of reassortment within a host cell. Our purpose here is to offer a brief introduction on the role of reassortment in segmented RNA virus evolution, explain the host cellular mechanisms of reassortment, and to provide a synthesis of recent experimental findings and methodological developments. While we focus our discussion on influenza viruses, wherein most of the studies on reassortment have been carried out, the concepts presented are broadly applicable to other multipartite genomes.