viroid

[vahy-roid]
noun
an infectious agent of plants similar to a virus but consisting of only a short, single strand of RNA without a protein coat.

Origin:
1946; vir(us) + -oid

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Collins
World English Dictionary
viroid (ˈvaɪrɔɪd)
 
n
any of various infective RNA particles, smaller than a virus and known to cause some plant diseases
 
[C20: from vir(us) + -oid]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

viroid vi·roid (vī'roid')
n.
An infectious particle, smaller than a virus, that consists solely of a strand of RNA and is capable of causing disease in plants.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
viroid   (vī'roid')  Pronunciation Key 
An infectious agent that consists solely of a single strand of RNA and causes disease in certain plants. Viroids lack the protein coat (known as a capsid) of viruses and are the smallest known infectious agents. Containing only about 250 to 375 base pairs, they are much smaller than the smallest genomes of viruses and have no genes for encoding proteins. After invading a host cell, viroids are thought to mimic the cell's DNA, so that the cell's RNA polymerase replicates them in the nucleus. Viroids are believed to cause disease by interfering with the host cell's gene regulation. They are destructive to many important commercial plants, including potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, coconuts, and chrysanthemums.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Viroid diseases are responsible for significant losses of food and fiber.
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