What are the components of a viruses?

1 Answer
May 10, 2018

Most viruses can feature genetic code, a capsid, and an envelope.


Unlike prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, viruses do not have cell structure. In other words, they lack a cytoplasm with ribosomes and a partially permeable membrane. However, they can have several other components.

  • They contain a self-replicating molecule of DNA or RNA that acts as its genetic code. This can often be found loose in the cytoplasm. When infecting another cell, the virus's DNA or RNA takes over the protein synthesis mechanisms of the host cell.

  • The virus also contains a capsid. This is a protective coating made of several different protein molecules, each of which is called a capsomere.

  • It may also contain an outer layer called an envelope. This provides additional protection and is also made of proteins.