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Atomic force microscopy investigation of Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus capsid disruption and RNA extrusion.


Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus (TYMV) was subjected to a variety of procedures which disrupted the protein capsids and produced exposure of the ssRNA genome. The results of the treatments were visualized by atomic force microscopy (AFM). Both in situ and ex situ freeze-thawing produced RNA emission, though at low efficiency. The RNA lost from such particles was evident, in some cases in the process of exiting the virions. More severe disruption of TYMV and extrusion of intact RNA onto the substrate were produced by drying the virus and rehydrating with neutral buffer. Similar products were also obtained by heating TYMV to 70 -75 degrees C and by exposure to alkaline pH. Experiments showed the nucleic acid to have an elaborate secondary structure distributed linearly along its length.

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