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Is the triangulation number of the SARS CoV-19 virus capsid, in the sense of the Caspar-Klug theory, known? In case the Caspar-Klug theory does not apply to it, is it known what is its tiling, in the sense of the viral tiling theory of Twarock (and coauthors)? I am a mathematician, trying to learn the geometric and group-theoretic aspects of virus structures.

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Coronaviruses, like many viruses with a lipid membrane, are pleomorphic. The individual particles don't have a consistent shape. Here is a cryo-electron micrograph of SARS-CoV-1: enter image description here

It might not be obvious, but each particle seen here is unique, they are not different rotations of identical copies. Since there is no consistent symmetry, there can be no triangulation number.

The image is from the following reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1563832/

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your explanation. It is very helpful for me! $\endgroup$ – user59912 May 19 at 11:14

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