Virus Plus and Minus Strands Explained. in a single-stranded RNA virus, a plus strand is one having the same polarity as viral mRNA and containing codon sequences that can be translated into viral protein. A minus strand is a noncoding strand that must be copied by an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase to produce a translatable mRNA. 2. in a single-stranded DNA virus, a plus strand is one contained in the virus particle or any strand having the same base sequence. A minus strand has a base sequence complementary to the plus strand; mRNA can be transcribed from the minus strand. See Baltimore classification of viruses, hairpin ribozyme.
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