The different fatty acid compositions of various strains of influenza virus are derived from homologous membranes such as the cells lining the allantoic sac of the embryonated chick egg (Tiffany & Blough, 1969). The lipoprotein-complex theory of membrane structure (Benson, 1966; Green & Perdue, 1966; Wallach & Gordon, 1968), as applicable to myxoviruses, suggests that lipids are bound specifically to apolar regions of the envelope polypeptide by hydrophobic interactions (Tiffany & Blough, 1969). If this hypothesis is correct, differences in molecular composition of the apolar paraffinic chains among various species of phospholipid are to be expected in order to permit the interaction of lipid and protein with maximum release of free energy. The purpose of this study was to test this hypothesis by comparison of the fatty acids of individual phospholipids in two strains of influenza virus.


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