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CarMV is an RNA-containing virus with isometric particles about 32-35 nm in diameter that mainly infects species in the Caryophyllaceae. It is transmitted mechanically but has no known vector. The virus is the type species of the genus Carmovirus which comprises 14 definitive and 8 tentative species and, together with seven additional genera (Tombusvirus, Dianthovirus, Aureusvirus, Avenavirus, Necrovirus, Panicovirus and Machlomovirus), is included in the family Tombusviridae. The generic name is derived from the name of the type species, CARnation MOttle VIRUS.