La Crosse (LAC) virions purified by velocity and equilibrium gradient centrifugation contained three single stranded RNA species. The three segments had sedimentation coefficients of 31S, 25S, and 12S by sodium dodecyl sulfate sucrose gradient centrifugation. By comparison with other viral and cellular RNA species, the LAC viral RNAs had molecular weights of 2.9x106, 1.8x106, and 0.4x106. Phenol sodium dodecyl sulfate extracted LAC virion RNA was not infectious for BHK 21 cell cultures under conditions in which Sindbis viral RNA was infectious. Treatment of LAC virus with the nonionic detergent Triton X 100 and salt released three nucleocapsid structures, each containing one species of virion RNA. The nucleocapsids had sedimentation coefficients of 115S, 90S, and 65S. Negative contrast electron microscopy of the nucleocapsids indicated that they were convoluted, supercoiled, and apparently circular. They had a mean diameter of 10 to 12 nm and modal lengths of 200, 510, and 700 nm (some were even longer). By chemical and enzymatic analysis of purified viral RNA, one type of 5' nucleotide (pppAp) present in the proportion of one per RNA segment was identified. After periodate oxidation, each virion RNA species was labeled by reduction with [3H] sodium borohydride. Taken together, these results suggest that although the nucleocapsids appear as closed loops, the viral RNA has free 5' and 3' ends and is, therefore, not circular.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science