Viral Killer Toxins

Manfred J. Schmitt, Björn Becker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The killer phenomenon in yeast which was initially discovered in certain brewery strains of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae depends on the presence of cytoplasmic-inherited double-stranded (ds) RNA killer viruses. Interestingly, dsRNA viruses are not only restricted to baker’s yeast strains, and can be likewise found in other yeast species. The unique feature of all killer yeasts is the secretion of protein toxins that are lethal to sensitive (susceptible) strains of the same or related species and genera. This article will summarize the current knowledge about viral dsRNA encoded killer toxin systems in yeast.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Virology
Subtitle of host publicationVolume 1-5, Fourth Edition
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780128145166
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • A/B toxin
  • Cell cycle arrest
  • dsRNA virus
  • H/KDEL receptor
  • Ionophore
  • Killer toxin
  • LA-virus
  • M-virus
  • Retrotranslocation
  • S. cerevisiae
  • Totiviruses
  • Toxin immunity
  • Virus-like particle


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