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Viruses do not have the power of growth, division and respiration. But they have power to reproduce. All plant viruses and some animal and bacterial viruses contain RNA as the genetic material. The single RNA strand replicates, forming a double stranded replicative form of RNA. This produces numerous copies in the same manner as the phi X 174 replicative form DNA. The RNA functions as mRNA by serving as the template for protein synthesis, and also in replication. DNA viruses contain DNA as the genetic material. On replication this DNA reproduces new DNA. RNA viruses contain RNA as the genetic material. The RNA replicates directly to produce new RNA.
The viruses do not respire and they do not grow but they do reproduce using host cells, because they do not have the proteins producing mechanisms.
Though the nucleic acids of viruses contain the coded information needed for reproduction, the multiplication of viruses cannot be possible without the presence of the host cells. Within the host cells, the DNA or RNA of viruses represents the genetic information needed for the producing of specific types of proteins whose enzymatic role helps in the two stages of the infectious cycle.
In some cases, the release of the new virions can destroy the cell, in other cases, the cell can continue to exist, after the release of virions.
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