The rates of synthesis and final yields of poliovirus RNA varied considerably during the four main phases (G, S, G and m) of the life cycle of synchronized HeLa cells. The rate of RNA synthesis late in virus growth (as measured by uridine incorporation 2 to 4 hr after infection) and the final yield of RNA rose sharply if growth was initiated towards the end of phase S; that is, RNA was synthesized most rapidly if cells were infected during the period of most rapid DNA synthesis. In contrast, the initial rate of RNA synthesis (incorporation 0 to 2 hr after infection) was greatest if growth was initiated at the end of phase G, just before mitosis. This differential effect on growth kinetics suggests that the balance between the two stages of virus RNA synthesis (production of complementary minus strands and of progeny plus strands) is dependent on unknown cellular factors.


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