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Viral entry

Viral entry methods depend on the type of host cell.

Bacteriophages do not have viral envelopes and normally inject only their genome into the host cells.

Animal viruses are enveloped; the viral envelope allows them to fuse to the cell membrane.

As a result, both the genome and the capsid enter the cell. The viral envelope often remains fused to the cell membrane.

Plant viruses cannot enter the cell by the same method because plant cells have a cell wall.

Plant viruses enter the cell through breaches (holes) in the cell wall. Initial infection tends to be through cell walls that have been damaged.

Once inside the cell, the virus can pass to other cells through plasmodesmata (intercellular cytoplasmic links).