Small, linear single-stranded RNA molecules functionally acting as molecular parasites of certain RNA plant viruses. Satellite RNAs exhibit four characteristic traits: (1) they require helper viruses to replicate; (2) they are unnecessary for the replication of helper viruses; (3) they are encapsidated in the coat protein of the helper virus; (4) they have no extensive sequence homology to the helper virus. Thus they differ from SATELLITE VIRUSES which encode their own coat protein, and from the genomic RNA; (=RNA, VIRAL); of satellite viruses. (From Maramorosch, Viroids and Satellites, 1991, p143) MeSH
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