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Virus is an obligate intracellular parasite which can reproduce only by invading and taking over other cells as they lack the cellular machinery for self reproduction.
Viroids are subviral, smallest known agents of infectious disease. The term viroid was coined by T.O. Diener (1971) to describe the causal agent of the potato spindle tuber disease (PSTV). There are some 25 viroids which vary in nucleotide sequence.
Viroids are spread by plant propagation (cuttings and tubers) through seeds and by manual mishandling with contaminated implements
Virus vs Viroid
1. It is a nucleoprotein particle
2. Nucleic acid can be DNA or RNA
3. A protein covering or coat called capsid is present around the genetic material
4. Virus has a larger size.
5. Virus infects all types of organisms
1. It is an infectious RNA particle
2. Viroid is formed of only RNA
3. A protein coat is absent
4. Viroid has a smaller size
5. Viroid infects only plants
*Virusoids are viroids located inside protein coat of true virus. RNA is linear or circular and non infections