(Irregular plural: retroviruses).
Any of a group of viruses that contain two single-strand linear RNA molecules per virion and reverse transcriptase (RNA to DNA).
Any of a family of viruses (Retroviridae) containing the genetic material RNA rather than the more usual DNA.
For the virus to express itself and multiply within an infected cell, its RNA must be converted to DNA. It does this by using a built-in enzyme known as reverse transcriptase (since the transfer of genetic information from DNA to RNA is known as transcription, and retroviruses do the reverse of this). Retroviruses include those causing AIDS and some forms of leukemia. See immunity.
Retroviruses are used as vectors in genetic engineering, but they cannot be used to target specific sites on the chromosome. Instead they incorporate their genes at random sites.
Virus that synthesises DNA from RNA rather than the usual reverse.